Background and Identification
The SuperDisk LS-120 is a high-speed, high-capacity alternative to the 1.44 MB, 90-mm (3.5-inch) floppy disk. The SuperDisk hardware was designed by 3M’s storage products group Imation in 1997. The SuperDisk was manufactured primarily by Matsushita. The SuperDisk was successful in Asia and Australia but had little success in North America because Compaq, Gateway, and Dell were three of only a handful of original equipment manufacturers. Imation ceased manufacturing the SuperDisk LS-120 in 2003.
The SuperDisk system is one of the last examples of floptical technology where lasers are used to guide a magnetic head that is significantly smaller than the magnetic heads used in traditional floppy disk drives. The SuperDisk LS-240 has double the capacity of the LS-120 and could also format regular floppy disks up to 32 MB capacity. However, any time a change is made to the LS-240, the entire disk must be rewritten like early CD-RW media.
A SuperDisk drive was included in two Panasonic digital cameras, the PV-SD4090 and PV-SD5000, which could use both SuperDisk (LS120) and 3.5-inch floppy disks as the memory media. The SuperDisk LS-120 includes 120 MB of disk storage while the LS-240 contains 240 MB of disk storage. The SuperDisk drive itself is compatible with 1.44 BM and 720 MB floppy formats.
Imation also released a SuperDisk version with “Secured Encryption Technology,” which uses Blowfish, a symmetric-key block cipher with a 64-bit key to encrypt the contents.