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Holographic memory module in Star Trek TNG episode "Ship in a Bottle" - picture courtesy of Ex Astris Scientia
And holographic storage is just right over the horizon

We may be seeing 1 terabyte hard drives by year end claims Hitachi. The hard drive giant is currently working on 3.5-inch drives that pack up to 1TB of storage capacity. Seagate is currently shipping the world's largest, weighing in at 750GB. Several companies -- including Seagate/Maxtor -- are already shipping 1TB or greater storage units that are made up of smaller hard drives. DailyTech previously reported that Seagate launched a home/SOHO based network attached storage (NAS) unit under the Maxtor brand that contained two 500GB hard drives. Even Seagate's long-time SCSI flagship Cheetah reached record capacities this year.

Hitachi Storage's president of product strategy Bill Healy told reporters that 1TB drives will be put into home computers and servers this year. Healy mentioned that storage density in magnetic media doubles every two years and so 1TB drives are coming soon.

Other high capacity storage options are on the way as well. As DailyTech previously reported, Hitachi-Maxell is set to launch its new line of holographic media later this year, starting with 300GB discs and scaling up to 1.6TB discs by 2010. The current technology is based on rotating disc media like we have today, although some analysts predict that in a few years, we should have solid-state, non-moving holographic storage similar to that which was shown on several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Holographic drives are currently being sampled out to larger enterprises and media houses. InPhase told reporters that its holographic drives have been ordered by such giants as Turner Broadcasting for testing.


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Real storage space
By Omega215D on 8/15/2006 4:27:57 PM , Rating: 1
It's great that they can produce larger drives but how about a drive that actually has the full sdvertised amount of memory in windows? Even though it's only missing 7% after being converted into binary I still get pretty mad when my 250 GB drive lost 17 gigs. 1 TB is 1 TB in windows instead of ~952 GB.

Ditto on adding flash memory or hybrid drive as you will.




RE: Real storage space
By Omega215D on 8/15/2006 4:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
*advertised


RE: Real storage space
By TomZ on 8/15/2006 5:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's great that they can produce larger drives but how about a drive that actually has the full sdvertised amount of memory in windows? Even though it's only missing 7% after being converted into binary I still get pretty mad when my 250 GB drive lost 17 gigs. 1 TB is 1 TB in windows instead of ~952 GB.

I don't think it will ever happen. It's kind of a unit-of-measure and a marketing thing. HDD manufacturers call 1GB = 10^9 bytes, whereas many computer-types (and Windows) call 1GB = 2^30 bytes. Hard-drive manufacturers should start using GiB instead, to help to eliminate the confusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte

I don't think either unit of measure is right or wrong, just like centimeters and inches are equally valid, but I think the hard drive makers are being somewhat intentionally misleading.


RE: Real storage space
By Feckless Plaintiff on 8/15/2006 5:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. MB is perfectly fine for HD, and also consistent with data across the network -- where you need to consider network performance, which is in M, not Mi. IMO, it's much of the rest of the computer industry that's in the wrong, including Microsoft, in reporting MiB as if it was MB. Wiki that.

Linux is actually far ahead there -- they generally say MiB when they mean base 2, instead of the generally-confusing dual meaning of MB depending on context.


RE: Real storage space
By TomZ on 8/15/2006 6:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree with you, except I believe the HDD manufacturers are being intentionally misleading. Network speeds are in powers-of-ten because they are based on crystals that are powers-of-ten. But HDDs are built with sector sizes that are powers-of-two. Therefore, the natural representation for HDD space would also be powers-of-two (like they used to be in the past). But some clever marketing folks realized the advantage that switching to powers-of-ten would give in terms of inflated advertized sizes.


RE: Real storage space
By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 4:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
Linux is part of the problem, as is everyone else conceding MB means something that it doesn't when they use the alternate term MiB for what MB really, necessarily means.

Central to the issue is that byte does not exist in a decimal system, is automatically and necessarily invalid.

If HDD manufacturers don't like the definition of megabyte, they can try mega-something_else. Perhaps MD, for megadeceit. Sony won't like that but who buys a minidisc these days?


RE: Real storage space
By mino on 8/16/2006 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Byte has as much to do with the decimal system as has watt(joule, gram, Kelvin...).

Please don't argue on proper exponent symbol by discussing the actual units.

Also SI is there from the 19th scentury. IMHO this was a bit sooner that computers and the idea 1000~1024 showed up.


RE: Real storage space
By TomZ on 8/16/2006 4:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also SI is there from the 19th scentury. IMHO this was a bit sooner that computers and the idea 1000~1024 showed up.

The use of kilo, mega, giga, etc. prefixes in computer industry is not taken from SI, nor it is intended to be compatible with SI, nor did SI provide the original definition of these prefixes. These prefixes come from Greek words and were adopted by both SI and the computer industry in differing ways.

Also, by your logic, the IEC definition that reserves "megabyte" as a power-of-ten measurement and introduces "mebibyte" as a power-of-two measurement is less valid since it was defined only in 1998 after the terms kilobyte, megabyte, and gigabyte already had different commonly-accepted definitions in use for many years.

I don't care what definition of "megabyte" is used, as long as it is not used in a deceptive way, i.e., consumer expects the "larger" definition and company instead uses the "smaller" definition, which seems to be what happened in the case of HDDs.


RE: Real storage space
By dgingeri on 8/16/2006 2:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
The whole "GB in advertising doesn't equal GB in Windows" arguement simply separates the idiots from the real computer techies. Those of us who know what each means know that those who don't understand are just too stupid to actually work on computers. Leave it to the pros, idiots.

I'm so sick of stupid people who are so stupid they don't even consider what they might now know. I will readily admit I know almost nothing about management or personal relations. I'm also bad with language and speaking skills. I certainly couldn't operate a musical instrument or write a poem or song. I do, however, know enough about the world to know that people who go 5 mph below the speed limit and those who accelerate slowly through crowded intersections are the ones that make traffic as bad as it is. I know how things work and how to fix problems. That is my talent.

I skated through math and understand the differences in measurement between what the idiot marketing people care to say and what the drive capacity really is. it's just a matter of accepting that my '250GB' maxtor is actually 233GB and my '250GB' WD is actually 232GB. It's not 'missing'. It's not 'converted'. It simply is. Accept it. Just because one network patch cable is 3m and the other is 10ft doesn't mean either one is technically any different. The difference would be so small that if it reaches, it reaches. If it doesn't, get a longer one.

This long, tired argument is just a matter of stupidity. We certainly don't need any more stupidity.


Star Trek
By GreenEnvt on 8/15/2006 1:06:43 PM , Rating: 3
Ah, how many current technologies were inspired, or greatly helped along, by people watching star trek and saying, "I want to make that real" ?




RE: Star Trek
By Misty Dingos on 8/15/2006 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
The Ipod and all MP3 players. Blue Tooth ear phones. Medical spray bandages. PDAs. Medical beds that monitor patients. The list goes on and on.


RE: Star Trek
By marvdmartian on 8/15/2006 5:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'd have to say that, for the modern Star Trek shows at least, it's a 50/50 split. Writers & technical advisors for the show see emerging technology, then move it forward a step or three; on the flip-side, the techno-geeks that invent that stuff watch Star Trek and say, "Hey, that'd be a cool feature for this gizmo we're already designing!!"

If you really want to see far-reaching thinking, watch the original Star Trek. Gene Rodenberry was a frikkin genious when it came to inventing that which hadn't even been thought up yet (except, maybe, in sci-fi writing). Transporters? It's 40 years later, and while scientists say that it's possible to physically make a transporter, we don't yet have the computing power to make it a viable technology (though they say that with modern computing, we could do simple inanimate objects, like rocks). Funny thing is, Gene Rodenberry thought up the transporter after the models for the shuttlecraft weren't going to be ready in time to do the first episodes, and they needed some way to get the crew to the planet surfaces......and thus, the transporter beam was invented! LOL


RE: Star Trek
By The Boston Dangler on 8/15/2006 8:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, the Enterprise runs on 3.5" floppies. Multicolored, of course.


RE: Star Trek
By White Widow on 8/15/2006 8:52:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...while scientists say that it's possible to physically make a transporter, we don't yet have the computing power to make it a viable technology (though they say that with modern computing, we could do simple inanimate objects, like rocks).


Really? Could you please link to a source that explains how we are currently able to transport rocks à la Star Trek?


RE: Star Trek
By GreenEnvt on 8/17/2006 10:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
To date, I believe the have only been able to get a photon of light to transport a short distance, no matter yet.


solid-state?
By barjebus on 8/15/2006 1:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
"300 GB's to 1.6 GB's"....1.6 TB's I think was meant.

Does anyone know if mass storage is ever going to run into a wall anytime soon? Is there any physical limitations that could slow down that doubling every two years?

And how far off do you figure solid-state hard drives are? Much faster access time...i'm surprised that that isn't as much of a focus as these massive drives are.




RE: solid-state?
By mendocinosummit on 8/15/2006 1:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Perpendicular recording might keep the momentum going for a while for hard drives.

Solid states are available now,kinda, but it will be cheaper and you will have more storage space with hybrid hard drives. They attach MB or even a couple gigs of NAND memory to a hard drive.


RE: solid-state?
By kamel5547 on 8/15/2006 2:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
THeres is still some time base don existing technology. Seagate was estimating something around 5TB-7.5TB based on their new recording method they are working on. I forget what they called it but it involves lubricating the platter so the read head can sit on it without causing damage. That would generate about 4-6 years I guess, I'd be more interested in an increase in the read speeds though than going much beyond 1TB at the moment.


1.6GB discs eh?
By broly8877 on 8/15/2006 1:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like a step backwards




RE: 1.6GB discs eh?
By MrSmurf on 8/15/2006 8:31:51 PM , Rating: 1
Seems like there is always someone quick to point out writing errors with 4th grade humor. Like we didn't know what the author really meant.


RE: 1.6GB discs eh?
By SunAngel on 8/16/06, Rating: 0
typo
By shuttleX on 8/15/2006 1:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
1.6GB should be 1.6TB third paragrah




FYI
By Slaimus on 8/15/2006 2:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi-Maxell has nothing to do with Hitachi. They are separate companies.




Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By plowak on 8/15/06, Rating: -1
RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/15/2006 1:23:13 PM , Rating: 3
I would like to see proof of an 8hr/day usage limit. Last time I checked hard drives are designed to run round the clock for years. Well just make sure you get 2 and put them into a RAID 1 configuration.


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By plowak on 8/15/2006 1:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
Read Newegg's buyer's comments for Hatachi drives.


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By ksherman on 8/15/2006 1:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
I was... to two 40GB 60GXPs in a RAID 0 config... twas amazing till i screwed up the RAID array and lost all 80GB :-P


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By noxipoo on 8/15/2006 1:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
i guess you weren't around using IBM 75GXP and 60 GXP HDs back in the day.


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By Crassus on 8/15/2006 2:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
I still have two DeathStars from 2000 running in RAID 1. My proof that I'm afraid of nothing ;c)
Guess that if they would die they would have done so already...


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/15/2006 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 5
Actually Raid 0 would be the Fearless setting :D STRIPE EM!


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By Quiksel on 8/15/2006 10:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
^ LOL


RE: Hitachi's HHD failure rate
By s12033722 on 8/15/2006 4:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
You need to do some checking on the currency of your information. Yes, Hitachi had two bas series, the 75GXP and 60GXP. The 120 GXP is a good drive, and the 180 GXP is on of the best from a reliability perspective, having a rating better than 87% of all drives including SCSI. If you want to pillory a company based on a bad series, don't forget to avoid Maxtor because of the DiamondMax Plus 8 and 9 (rated at the bottom 20% and 24%, respectively), Western Digital from the Caviar 2000JB/BB at bottom 16% and 10%, etc. All the hard drive companies have had bad series.


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