IBM has announced the first desktop disk drives to use a new head technology that provides a major breakthrough in storage capacity.
IBM says its giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads are more sensitive than the current technology and can read data packed onto a disk at much higher densities.
Case in point is the new IBM Deskstar 16GP. It's a 3.5-inch drive that holds up to 16.8GB of data. It will be available next month for about $US900.
"The analogy I like to use is that at home, whether it's your closet or garage, you're always filling all the available space," says Kevin Reinis, IBM's director of perfomance storage products.
"With the Desktstar 16GP, PC buyers in the home market will never have that problem again. They will now be able to have a longer life to their PC and enable all the storage-intensive applications, whether digital photography, Internet downloads, multimedia, etcetera."
Reinis and a group of the company's storage executives today also unveiled the Deskstar 14GXP, which holds 14.4GB in the same 3.5-inch format. It spins at 7200 rpm versus the 16GP's 5400 rpm, so it can access data faster. The 14GXP lists for $845.
IBM says it will begin shipping the new Deskstar drives to PC manufacturers including Dell and Gateway next month, and will license the technology to other drive manufacturers. The company says GMR technology will provide disk-capacity enhancements of about 60 percent per year for the next three years.