At this week’s Macworld San Francisco,
will display its new modular drive that’s absolutely peerless. Or rather Peerless.
The Peerless drive system, for both Mac and PC systems, is due by the middle of 2001, at least in North America (with shipments to Europe and Asia/Pacific to follow in the third quarter). It will incorporate hard drive technology in 5GB, 10GB and 20GB capacities and should offer disk prices as low as one cent per megabyte. Size and shape wise, think PDA (personal digital assistant; a la Palm and Handspring devices).
The Peerless drive will slip into a base station only slightly larger than the disk itself — a slim, vertical enclosure about four inches across and five inches tall, according to Iomega. And the system offers up to 10 times the performance and “massively greater storage capacity” than CD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW alternatives, according to Bruce Albertson, president and CEO of Iomega.
“Iomega’s Peerless drive system is an exciting new advance in digital data management,” Albertson said in a press announcement. “We believe that its modular design, high capacity and hard-drive performance will be so compelling that Peerless will open up an entirely new class of devices. Data-intensive tasks that cannot be performed with DVD-class optical drives, such as handling multiple video streams, will be accomplished simply, cheaply, and reliably with this portable device.”
He said that two key design innovations contribute to the Peerless drive system’s “price-performance leadership”: Iomega’s integration of read/write heads into fully sealed 5GB, 10GB and 20GB removable disks and the relocation of the hard drive electronics from the Peerless disks to the base station. The first design innovation is an advance that purportedly eliminates the risk of dust contamination and allows sustained transfer rates in the range of 15MB per second (at least with a FireWire module). The second is an Iomega breakthrough that Albertson said is a first in the hard drive industry.
The drive with interface module is expected to retail for US $249, while Peerless disks are expected to retail for $129 (5GB), $159 (10GB) and $199 (20GB). FireWire and USB 1.1 interface modules are expected to be available at the launch, with USB 2.0 and SCSI available as follow-on products.