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.
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