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DRAM-based hard drive debuts

Quantum announces a speedy hard disk that relies on high-capacity memory rather than moving parts for high-end storage systems.

Storage device maker Quantum (QNTM) announced a "solid state" hard disk that relies on high-capacity memory chips, a product designed to act as a secondary storage device for corporate server computers.

Quantum's 1.6GB and 1.07GB solid state drives function without the spinning discs and moving heads of traditional hard disks. Using memory chips greatly speeds the "seek time" for locating and sending stored data to the processor, because a memory chip is much faster than a traditional disk drive.

Also, using next-generation 64-megabit DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips gives the solid state drives four times the capacity of current memory chips in the same-sized memory module. Memory chips typically come in 16-megabit versions, but the industry is in the midst of a conversion.

The drives will come in an industry-standard hard disk design, and are intended for Unix- and also Windows NT-based server computers using RAID (redundant array of independent disks) storage systems. Focusing on servers devoted to e-commerce or customer service operations, the drives are designed to fill gap between the speed at which the server processes data and the rata of data transfer from the multiple storage disks.

Quantum's Rushmore Ultra Solid State Disks are priced at $39,000 for the 1.6GB version and $28,000 for the 1.07GB version, and are immediately available.