The floppy disk could be about to make a comeback.

Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries, better known by its Panasonic brand name, has announced the development of a new technology that can increase the capacity of floppy disks more than 20-fold.

The company will begin selling later this month a new disk drive that, it says, is capable of storing 32MB of data on a standard 2HD floppy disk — some 22.2 times that of its usual 1.44MB capacity.

Matsushita plans to put the drive on sale February 23 in Japan. It is expected to cost less than $87.

To increase the data capacity of a standard floppy, Matsushita’s FD32MB system employs zone bit recording — a system used to encode data onto hard disks and optical disc systems that more efficiently uses the space to record data.

The popularity of the floppy disk, once leader of the removable media market, has been waning in recent years as computers have increased in sophistication and users have found that floppy disks’ capacity limiting.


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