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November 24, 1991

RICOH BRINGS ACCESS TIME ON EXCHANGEABLE OPTICAL DISK DRIVE DOWN TO 37ms, SEEK TO 28ms

By CBR Staff Writer

The file products division of Ricoh Co’s Los Altos, California-based US subsidiary has announced the HyperSpace 5.25 650Mb magneto-optical disk drive. At 3,600rpm (which the company claims is the fastest media spin rate among optical disk drives), the new rewritable optical drive has a data transfer rate of 1Mbps, an average seek time of 28ms and access time of 37ms. HyperSpace is available now to OEM customers, value-added resellers, systems integrators and distributors in production quantities. It can be configured for most stand-alone and networked hardware, the company says, including IBM-compatible personal computers, the PS/2, the Macintosh, Unix workstations, Novell, Digital Equipment Corp and Amiga hardware. It costs $4,000. The new product is aimed at imaging, publishing, CAD/CAM and scientific computing, as well as the network storage or local area net market. The drive’s 1Mbps sustained data transfer rate is attributed to its 3600rpm rotational speed, while the 28ms seek time is accredited to two technological breakthroughs – a split-head optical system and direct, single-step seek. In a traditional optical drive designs, Ricoh said, the moving optical head contains the relatively heavy laser diode, which generates the laser beam, and the mirrors and lenses to focus and place the beam onto the optical media; the HyperSpace drive’s split-head optical system design, however, places the laser diode elements in a fixed position so that only the mirrors and lenses need to move.

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