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Iomega Unveils DCT Storage Drive

Iomega has introduced a magnetic removable storage device and media temporarily dubbed digital capture technology (DCT).

The DCT, which will soon receive a new moniker, is about the size of a 50-cent piece and has a 3.2GB capacity. Tim Dammon, Iomega’s product general manager for new technology, said the DCT is based on Fuji’s Nano Cubic Technology and is derivative of several previous Iomega products introduced in the late 1990s called Clik and PocketZip. Like its predecessor, the DCT uses the Fuji technology and it has the same basic industrial design. The newer versions have a much greater storage capacity compared to the PocketZip’s 40MB.

Nano Cubic Technology allows data to be stored on a flexible, more durable platter that, at 1.8-inches in diameter, is small enough for use in a variety of portable devices.

The DCT drives will come in three basic varieties, each bundled with a single piece of media; an external USB 2.0 drive, a PC card slot drive and a internal version for the OEM market. Pricing will be $129 for the drive and media, making it comparable in price to its primary competitor in the removable storage category, flash media, Dammon said. The media is expected to cost $10 per disk. Iomega branded and OEM product will be available later this year.

“We see it as a solution for portable computers and sub-notebooks that don’t have internal memory, but an even bigger area is the CE market for digital camcorders and music players,” Dammon said.

On a per-megabyte cost, it is cheaper than flash, Johnson said, and its write speed is faster than optical drives and its uses less power. The company hopes these facts spur camcorder, multimedia and computer vendors to install DCT drives in their upcoming products. In the meantime, devices with PC card slots can make immediate use of the drives through the PC card drive.

Johnson thought the digital camcorder market would most benefit from the DCT drive. Not only, he said, does it offer a great deal of capacity, but there would be no need to download the video from the camcorder into a PC. The media is directly accessed by the PC from the drive, negating the lengthy download process.