Faster, Faster: This Chip Does 255 Chores At Once

New microprocessors such as Intel Corp.'s Pentium and IBM's PowerPC will vastly speed up personal computers--but only if they can get at the data quickly. And the special controller chips that manage the operations of hard-disk drives often can't keep up with the demands from fast microprocessors for more data. It's especially obvious with new operating systems, such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT, that can do many jobs at once and are capable of asking for different data stored on various hard drives simultaneously.

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