Micropolis Corporation

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Micropolis Corporation
IndustryStorage media
Founded1976; 46 years ago (1976) in Chatsworth, California, United States
Defunct1997 (1997)
FateBankruptcy liquidation

Micropolis Corporation (styled as MICROPΩLIS) was a disk drive company located in Chatsworth, California and founded in 1976. Micropolis initially manufactured high capacity (for the time) hard-sectored 5.25-inch floppy drives and controllers, later manufacturing hard drives using SCSI and ESDI interfaces.


Micropolis boot diskette, as used with the Micropolis dual 5.25-inch drive to boot an IMSAI 8080.

Micropolis's first advance was to take the existing 48 tpi (tracks per inch) standard created by Shugart Associates, and double both the track density and track recording density to get four times the total storage on a 5.25-inch floppy in the "MetaFloppy" series with quad density (Drives :1054, :1053, and :1043) around 1980.[1] Micropolis pioneered 100 tpi density because of the attraction of an exact 100 tracks to the inch. "Micropolis-compatible" 5.25-inch 77-track diskette drives were also manufactured by Tandon (TM100-3M and TM100-4M). Such drives were used in a number of computers like in a Vector Graphic S-100 bus computer, the Durango F-85 and in a few Commodore disk drives (8050, 8250, 8250LP and SFD-1001).

Micropolis later switched to 96 tpi when Shugart went to the 96 tpi standard, based on exact doubling of the 48 tpi standard. This allowed for backwards compatibility for reading by double stepping to read 48 tpi disks.

Micropolis entered the hard disk business with an 8-inch hard drive, following Seagate's lead (Seagate was the next company Alan Shugart founded after Shugart Associates was sold). They later followed with a 5.25-inch hard drive. Micropolis started to manufacture drives in Singapore in 1986.[2][3] Manufacturing of 3.5-inch hard disks started in 1991.[2]

Micropolis was one of the many hard drive manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s that went out of business, merged, or closed their hard drive divisions; as a result of capacities and demand for products increased, and profits became hard to find. While Micropolis was able to hold on longer than many of the others, it ultimately sold its hard drive business to Singapore Technology (ST) in 1996,[3] a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings), who has ceased to market the brand in 1998.[3]

After the disk business sale, Micropolis was reorganized as StreamLogic Corporation, which declared bankruptcy in 1997 amid securities fraud allegations.[4][5] StreamLogic's RAIDION line of storage subsystems survive, now marketed by the RAIDION Systems division of Peripheral Technology Group. Its VIDEON video on demand technology was sold to Sumitomo Corporation.[6]

Emerging from the StreamLogic reorganization was yet another company named Hammer Storage Solutions, which was formed from the purchase of the hardware division of FWB, a small Macintosh storage vendor. Its assets were sold in 2000 to Bell Microproducts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Micropolis - MetaFloppy. Beyond the floppy" (PDF). Canoga Park, CA, USA: Micropolis Corporation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  2. ^ a b McKendrick, David (November 1997). "Sustaining Competitive Advantage in Global Industries: Technological Change and Foreign Assembly in the Hard Disk Drive Industry". The Information Storage Industry Center, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California. Report 97-06. Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  3. ^ a b c Wong, Poh-Kam (July 1999). "The dynamics of the HDD industry development in Singapore" (PDF). Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship, National University of Singapore: The Information Storage Industry Center, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California. Report 99-03. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  4. ^ "TCR_Public/970626.MBX".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2005-04-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "TCR_Public/970630.MBX".

Further reading[edit]

  • "NCC Preview: OEMs at NCC - Micropolis Corp". Computerworld. CW Communications, Inc. XII (22): P/50. 1978-05-28. Retrieved 2017-06-12. […] Micropolis has extended the capacity of 5.25-in. floppy disk subsystems via double-sided models with formatted file storage of up to nearly 2 million bytes […] The Megafloppy series also features an intelligent controller that facilitates interconnection of four subsystems to a common host interface for a total on-line storage capacity of more than 15M bytes […] Double-sided versions of the product line will be implemented first in two OEM series - Model 1015 and Model 1055 […] The Model 1015 is an unpackaged drive designed for the manufacturer who integrates floppy disk storage into his own system enclosure. A range of storage capacities from 143,000 to 630,000 bytes per drive is available […] Model 1015 customers have the option of using the Micropolis intelligent controller and Group Code Recording (GCR) method to further expand file space up to 946,000 bytes […] Offering GCR and a microprocessor-based controller as standard features, the Model 1055 5.25-in. floppy has four soft-sectored formats for each of its 77 tracks, yielding a maximum capacity of 1,892,000 bytes of file space on its double-sided version […] An add-on module available for the 1055 is comprised of two read/write heads and two drives, sharing a common controller. The subsystem capacity (formatted) with the module is 3,784,000 bytes […] Up to four 1055s, each with an add-on module, can be daisy-chained to a common host for a maximum on-line storage capacity of more than 15M bytes […]
  • http://www.s100computers.com/Hardware%20Folder/Vector%20Graphic/VG%20Micropolis%20FDC/VG%20Micropolis%20FDC.htm Micropolis/Vector Graphic S-100 FDC

External links[edit]