IBM plays tag with new hard drive

IBM Corp. is shipping a new hard drive for desktop computers that uses a technology called "tag 'n seek," which increases its performance by up to 20 percent over competing hard drives, IBM said in a statement Monday.

The Deskstar 180GXP tags commands sent to it from the host processor in a desktop computer. By identifying and classifying different commands issued to the hard drive, it can prioritize those commands for more efficient processing of data, IBM said.

This increases performance by allowing the host processor to take on other tasks, and decreases the seek time, or the amount of time needed to locate a specific piece of data, the company said.

The drive features a maximum capacity of 180G bytes, with a base capacity of 30G bytes. It uses up to 8M bytes of cache, and runs at 7,200 revolutions per minute.

NexSAN Technologies Ltd. will use the Deskstar drives in new RAID (redundant array of independent disks) storage products, which will allow it to compete with SCSI (small computer system interface) and Fibre Channel products, it said in a release Monday.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, and Hitachi Ltd. entered into an agreement earlier this year to merge their hard drive operations, with Hitachi purchasing the majority of IBM's hard drive assets for US$2 billion in June. The deal is expected to close at the end of this year.

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