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  1. Technology
November 10, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

San Jose, California-based Maxtor Corp has extended its 7000 Series 3.5 disk drives with the Excalibur family of products. The Excalibur 71260A 1.2Gb and the Excalibur 71050A 1.0Gb hard disk drives are aimed at the high end of the personal computer market for storage-intensive applications, such as computer-aided design and engineering and multimedia. The company says that with the emergence of PowerPC and Pentium-based machines, analysts expect the market for Gigabyte hard disk drives to grow to more than 6m drives within the next year. The Excalibur products feature enhanced IDE and Small Computer System Interfaces. For the first time, this enables Maxtor’s 7000 Series to be used in both ATA and SCSI-based high-end personal computer systems. The enhanced IDE, which supports Parallel Input-Output Mode 3 at 11.1M-bytes per second and Direct Memory Access Mode 1 multi-word at 13.3M-bytes per second. Throughput has been maximised with MaxCache firmware providing advanced, segmented buffer management for efficient reordering of disk commands, says Maxtor. A new, proprietary interface integrated circuit lowers command processing overhead to 2.5mS, thus decreasing response time. The Excalibur family of products features a 256Kb buffer, average seek performance below 11ms and a track-to-track seek time of 2mS. The drives use 0.6 Watts in sleep mode, 0.7 Watts in standby and 5.4 Watts while active, providing lower total power consumption. Maxtor says the have a mean time between failure rate of more than 300,000 hours and 40,000 contact start-stop cycles. IDE customer test units are now shipping to OEM customers. SCSI versions of the products will be available for OEM evaluation in December. The evaluation unit price is $425 for one. Volume production at the company’s manufacturing facility in Singapore begins in November. Products will be available in retail and distribution channels in December.

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