IBM will tomorrow announce the world's smallest and lightest hard disk drive, which it is positioning for use in digital cameras and palmtop computers.
The 340Mbyte microdrive, which has a disk platter about the size of a large coin, will be available from the middle of next year, IBM said. It has already has held talks with Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, and Minolta about using it in their products.
Unlike other portable storage formats such as flash memory, the microdrive uses hard disk drive technology to store information, and can hold five times as much content as similarly sized solid-state memory cards.
The Microdrive fits into the Compact Flash Type II slot, which is used in many handheld devices, and can also be used with a standard PC Card Adapter. This could allow, for instance, a user to take pictures on a digital camera and manipulate them on a PC.
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