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Disk drive manufacturer Quantum is being forced to build an additional factory line for its Atlas 10K11 as supplies of the product, and its Atlas V unit, dry up.

And, it emerged today, pressure has now moved to IBM's comparable storage products as buyers scrabble to grab as many drives as they can.

Earlier this week, Quantum wrote to its channel partners attempting to explain the shortages. The letter, which we have seen says: "All drives we are scheduling to build are already covered by our current backlog. That's why we have decided to open a new manufacturing line dedicated to this product this quarter.

"Unfortunately for today's deliveries one of our providers (Texas Instrument for the pre-amplifier chip) has informed us they will not be able to fulfill the expected volume.

"This means we will not be able to provide enough drives before TI increases chip availability or we qualify another provider. Atlas 10KII will not be available till end of September. On the other hand, Atlas 10K is End-Of-Life

"Hopefully availability of Atlas V is good enough to answer to the market needs. The level of performance of Atlas V is very similar to the Atlas 10K in many configurations (measured with Winbench 99). For all customers satisfied with Atlas 10K performances, they will be satisfied by Atlas V too."

But supplies of Atlas Vs too are beginning to experience shortages too, according to distributors close to drive manufacturers' plans. Demand for SCSI 7200 is no migrating to Big Blue drives, and existing stocks will not be able to meet what is described as a "massive hunger" for the parts. That means IBM will shortly begin to suffer too. ®

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