A firm called Solid State Disks Ltd is shipping FLOPPYFlash, a floppy drive emulator providing a solid state replacement for obsolete, electro-mechanical floppy disk drives in legacy computer-based systems and equipment as a direct, drop-in replacement.
It uses removable standard industrial CompactFlash solid state card technology to replace the floppy disk media.
It says the configurable firmware, which is field upgradeable via an integral USB port, facilitates a match to any host computer system or equipment, eliminating the need for any host hardware or software changes.
TCP/IP networking via standard RJ45 Ethernet connection is also supported, allowing FLOPPYFlash to be connected to any existing local area network for remote configuration, control, diagnostics, backup and restore.
With a small 3.5-inch footprint and using a standard 34 pin floppy disk drive connection, can be used to replace obsolete 3.5-inch and any larger 5.25-inch and 8-inch floppy disk drives using a suitable adaptor. It also supports 26 pin / 34 pin slim & Shugart floppy connections.
FLOPPYFlash requires a 5V power supply and will also fit into a standard floppy disk drive slot using the same fixings. Data transfer rates can be set between 125 Kb/s and 500 Kb/s depending on whether the matching encoding method is FM, MFM or MMFM. Similarly, the emulated track configuration is programmable. The use of solid state technology also delivers greatly increased reliability (MTBF) and media life, improved environmental efficiency with lower power consumption, noise and heat generation, and a reduction in unplanned downtime.
“There are plenty of critical legacy systems in a variety of industries that are potentially nearing end-of-life simply because their floppy disk drives are becoming too difficult to repair or replace as they age and fail,” said James Hilken, Sales Director of Solid State Disks Ltd. “FLOPPYFlash provides a solution to this, giving OEMs and service providers across a broad range of industries a quick, easy and cost-efficient solution for keeping their legacy computer-based systems and equipment up-to-date with a drop-in, solid state replacement for obsolete floppy disk drives.”
The firm believes there is a gap in the market as for legacy computer-based systems and equipment in use in a range of industries and applications including telecommunications, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial process control, engineering and manufacturing, power generation, oil & gas, military & aerospace, flight simulation and post-production.