Print 39 comment(s) - last by AnnihilatorX.. on Sep 22 at 7:45 AM

Seagate plans to triple areal densities within two years

At the IDEMA DISKON show in Santa Clara, California, Seagate demonstrated a magnetic recording device with a whopping 421 Gbits per square inch density.  To put that in perspective, the company recently announced 160GB 5400.3 2.5" perpendicular notebook drives that have an areal density of 135 Gbits per square inch. Toshiba, the current commercial density leaders, recently demonstrated 2.5" hard drives with areal densities of 188 Gbits per square inch.

Seagate CEO Bill Watkins claims "Breakthroughs in areal density are enabling the digital revolution and clearly indicate that hard drives can sustain their advantage to meet the world's insatiable demand for storage across a wide range of market segments."

According to the press release put out by Seagate, the company claims a 1.8" disk drive produced on the same 421 Gbits per square inch technology would result in a 275GB hard drive. 2.5" drives on the density would level out around 500GB, and fully fledged 3.5" hard drives would be able to house a density of 2.5 terabytes.  Perhaps even more exciting is that Seagate "anticipates that solutions at these density levels could begin to emerge in 2009."

The leap to such densities would result in a three-fold increase of current areal densities. However, Seagate isn't alone in this race.  Earlier this year Hitachi put out a press release claiming we would see 1TB holographic drives from the company before the end of the year.  However, both companies use Komag as the primary supplier of their high density platters -- and it should not be a surprise if we see 1TB hard disk drives as well.

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RE: That's great!
By The Cheeba on 9/15/2006 3:38:33 PM , Rating: 3
Probably your holographic drive is a little too small. I think we will have 1TB holo drives by then easily.

RE: That's great!
By JeffDM on 9/15/2006 3:59:51 PM , Rating: 3
For the next few years, holographic discs of the current size and larger are only going to be useful to commercial customers. Actually, I'm not sure they are useful because tape drives and tapes are cheaper and work faster than the holographic drives and discs. The first consumer holographic media is slated to be around 70GB.

I think for the short term, the consumer market is just going to have to deal with CD, DVD or external hard drive enclosures for backups.

RE: That's great!
By Xavian on 9/16/2006 9:07:32 AM , Rating: 3
Thats HVD (Holographic Versatile Disc), we are talking about an actual holographic drive from Hitachi, not discs/media.

Holographic Drives have the potential for much faster data access, read/write speed and generally more performance on the whole. Because the drive no longer has to rely on platter sizes and a certain RPM, Holographic hard drives could come close to flashdrives in speed and have the same space as a regular hard drive.

Cost however... is another matter, im sure as with all new technology, there will be a premium on the new holographic drives.

RE: That's great!
By s12033722 on 9/16/2006 3:51:37 PM , Rating: 3
Given that flash drives are currently far slower than conventional hard drives, I don't see that as much of a bragging point... And yes, I am referring to solid state disk drives, not flash cards. They run at about 25 MB/sec sustained transfer with bursts of 60 MB/sec or so. Conventional hard drives are around 50 MB/sec or so sustained transfer. The only place flash disks surpass conventional disks is in access times, with times in microseconds instead of milliseconds.

RE: That's great!
By AnnihilatorX on 9/22/2006 7:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
You are talking about write speed there. SSD can achieve read speed sustained of >50MB/s speed easily, as seen with USB 2.0 Flash Memory Sticks. The writing speed is somewhere below 30MB/s sustained. Burst speed and sustained speed is also very similar as the transfer rate are stable throughout, unlike HDD where different parts of platter gives different transfer speed due to the circular nature of disc platters.

As you mentioned access time however are literally instantaneous.

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