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Maxtor Announces Next Generation Hard Drive Interface

(July 31, 2001)
Maxtor Corporation announced the release of the Ultra ATA/133 hard drive interface specification, which boosts data transfer rates between the computer and the hard drive up to 133 megabytes (MB) per second. The new interface is one-third faster than earlier record-breaking Ultra ATA/100 technology integrated in most PC computer systems and performance adapter cards sold today.

Currently, VIA Technologies Inc, Silicon Integrated Systems Corp (SiS), Adaptec Inc (Nasdaq: ADPT), Promise Technology Inc, and Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG) have formally completed licensing agreements to use Maxtor's Ultra ATA/133 interface technology in upcoming systems and chipsets.

ATA or Advanced Technology Attachment defines the connection and speed for the interface between the hard drive and the computer. As the industry introduces faster and higher capacity hard drives, work must be done in parallel to speed up the interface between the drive and the host computer in order to avoid a data bottleneck from the drive outperforming the interface.

For example, the new Ultra ATA/133 interface, which Maxtor is branding as "Fast Drives," is ideal for transferring large amounts of data such as digital video. Since this content is performance-dependable and very dense, both Maxtor Fast Drives and Big Drive technology (announced June 26, 2001), complement this application. With Big Drive, users can store voluminous amounts of digital content, and with Fast Drives, videos will run more smoothly and flow uninterrupted on the screen. (For more information about Maxtor's Big Drive initiative that broke the 137 GB barrier, please visit

The Ultra ATA/133 Fast Drives interface is currently being built into next-generation products. ACARD Technology Corp, Acer Laboratories Inc (ALi), Adaptec Inc (Nasdaq: ADPT), Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A), HighPoint Technologies Inc and Pacific Digital Corporation will also be among the first to adopt the new specification.

The Fast Drives specification and licensing rights for Ultra ATA/133 are now available from Maxtor under non-disclosure. A complimentary Fast Drives logo is also available to partners to help brand and promote the new technology. Maxtor will also release an open specification to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) T13 group during the fourth quarter of 2001.

The Ultra ATA/133 interface uses Maxtor patented technology that was previously incorporated into the highly successful Ultra ATA/66 and Ultra ATA/100 interfaces. It is also backward compatible with the existing ATA standard. Personal computer users who want to upgrade from Ultra ATA/100 to Ultra ATA/133 will need to purchase a compliant adapter card or system motherboard along with the new hard drives.

It is anticipated that licensed partners will announce and begin shipping products that incorporate Fast Drive technology during the second half of 2001. Widespread PC adoption is expected in 2002. More information on the next generation Ultra ATA/133 technology can be found at

For more information, visit

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