A 3.5 floppy disk drive capable of storing 20Mb and threatening the fun of manufacturers of low-capacity 3.5 Winchesters is being prepared for launch at Comdex/Fall next month by San Jose start-up Briar Technology Inc. According to Computer Systems News, the new Briar drive, set for evaluation units in the second quarter of next year, will also have an access time of under 20mS. The company says that it has lined up an unidentified second source for both the drive and the disks to overcome reluctance of system builders to commit to a single source product. On price, it says only that the drives – with embedded SCSI controllers – will be competitive with Winchesters, and that the disks will cost about $1 per megabyte retail – $20. There is no indication of how the company has achieved the high capacity beyond the fact that the drive com-bines Winchester and floppy technology, but it may well use vertical recording. The Briar drives will not be media-compatible with lower-capacity floppies.
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