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Matrox --  History

Micropolis Corporation was a disk drive company located in Chatsworth, California. The company was founded in 1976. They initially manufactured high capacity (for the time) hard sectored 5.25 inch floppy drives and controllers. One of these was for the S-100 bus. Later they evolved into manufacturing hard drives using SCSI and ESDI interfaces.

Micropolis's early claim to fame was to take the existing 48 TPI (tracks per inch) 5" floppy standard created by Shugart Associates, and double both the track density and track recording density to get 4 times the normal storage on a disk. Micropolis used a track density of 100 TPI initially to do this, but later they switch to 96 TPI when Shugart and almost everybody else went to the 96 TPI standard. The latter allowed easy backward compatibility with 48 TPI disks. (There is an interesting discussion about 100TPI and  96TPI drives at reterotechnology.com if you need more information).  

Nevertheless Micropolis had an early strong footing in the S-100 FDC business. They offered their own BASIC and disk operating system before CP/M arrived on the  general scene.  They housed their floppy disks in a well designed cabinet with its own power supply

Later Micropolis entered the hard disc business with an 8" hard drive. This was followed by a  5" hard drive.  In the early 1980's the company was one of the many hard drive manufacturers most of who later 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, after selling its hard disk business, reorganizing, renaming etc  they declared bankruptcy in 1997 amid securities fraud allegations.

Micropolis Floppy Unit


Micropolis  S-100 Boards


This page was last modified on 10/25/2013