Iomega Samples 1.5-GB Mini Drive

Iomega released its 1.5GB small-form-factor DCT drive to OEMs. The miniature drive, the size of a half dollar coin, is part of a bid to resuscitate the struggling company.

Iomega Corp. said it had begun sampling its 1.5GB small-form-factor DCT drive to OEMs, part of a bid to resuscitate the struggling company.

The companys digital-capture technology (DCT) platform is about the size of a half-dollar coin and weighs only 9 grams. Iomega intends to sell the drive to portable device manufacturers as an alternative storage solution.

Iomegas DCT partners include Fuji Photo Film Co., Citizen Watch Co., and Texas Instruments. The company is on schedule to bring DCT products to market by the second quarter of 2004.

DCTs development is a fairly critical one for the company, as sales of the companys mainstay Zip drives have slipped. Iomega only shipped 600,000 Zip drives during the second quarter, down from a million drives a year ago. On July 18, Iomega decided to restructure its business, which will cost the company $20 million to $25 million in one-time charges and the services of 200 employees, which the company will lay off.

Iomega reported second-quarter sales of $100.8 million for the quarter ended June 29, down 33.6 percent or $44.4 million compared with the second quarter of 2002 due to declining Zip product sales. The company recorded net income of $4.4 million, including $4.6 million in research tax credits.

Iomegas DCT will a use a high-density magnetic recording technology capable of areal densities of 6 Gbits per square inch, according to the company. Iomega also has a removable small-form-factor hard disk drive under development, code-named "RRD".