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Data Storage Hardware

Seagate Hits 1 Terabit Per Square Inch 224

Posted by timothy
from the please-take-a-minute-to-wonder dept.
MrSeb was one of several readers to submit news that drive manufacturer Seagate has announced (and demoed) the first hard drive to squeeze a terabit into each square inch of platter. "'Initially this will result in 6TB 3.5-inch desktop drives and 2TB 2.5-inch laptop drives, but eventually Seagate is promising up to 60TB and 20TB respectively. To achieve such a huge leap in density, Seagate had to use a technology called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). Basically, the main issue that governs hard drive density is the size of each magnetic 'bit.' These can only be made so small until the magnetism of nearby bits affects them. With HAMR, 'high density' magnetic compounds that can withstand further miniaturization are used. The only problem is that these materials, such as iron platinum alloy, are more stubborn when it comes to writing data — but if you heat it first, that problem goes away. With HAMR, Seagate has strapped a laser to the hard drive head; when it wants to write data, the laser turns on. Reading data is still done conventionally, without the laser. In theory, HAMR should allow for areal densities up to 10 terabits per square inch (magnetic sites that are just 1nm long!), and thus desktop hard drives in the 60TB range."
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Seagate Hits 1 Terabit Per Square Inch

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  • Wondering (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hardburlyboogerman (161244) <kwsmith41747@windstream.net> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:32AM (#39412517) Homepage Journal

    Can current motherboards handle that?

  • Re:Wondering (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xushi (740195) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:35AM (#39412543)

    Also wondering, will this set back SSD by 5 years?

  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:39AM (#39412569)

    They are on ultimately diverging paths which may coexist symbiotically forever unless one beats the other out in either cost, reliability, or functionality.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:46AM (#39412635)
    Once size is sufficient, you can solve reliability through redundency.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:47AM (#39412655)

    You're absolutely right!!! Why didn't they measure it in meters??? Then I'd have some scale being able to compare it to the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792458 of a second! I mean, everyone has some idea what that is...

  • by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:56AM (#39412721)
    Granted most of *us* can find something to fill it but when Dell and other bulk PC makers start including 1TB or 10TB drives in their basic PC's, most of it will still be unused by the general public. With higher MP cameras I can fill mine up with video and pics and a few converted movies/music. But with streaming options and so much available online or stored online for you, I just don't see the need to keep a ton of torrented movies and other files around taking up space and having to manage.

    The more space we have, it seems the more we keep. I can see a new show as a spinoff of "Hoarders" showing just what all is in your computers HDD.
  • by na1led (1030470) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:58AM (#39412751)
    I've noticed that the more storage you have, the more junk you fill it with. At my work, we have SANs with several Terabytes of storage, mostly filled with junk. When you have millions of useless files, it becomes a tedious task to search, and backup data. In the early days, there was a lot more cleanup of stored data, and only important files were kept on disks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:58AM (#39412759)

    Can you describe what a centimeter is, relative to something else?
    A fraction of the distance from the equator to the north poll?
    The distance light travels in a fraction of a second? What's a second?

    The length of someone's thumb, or a fraction of someones foot is possibly more relevant to humans.

    that said, yes, m and cm are ok too.

    but do you ask for a 8.89 or 6.35 cm harddrive?

  • Re:Power? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:33AM (#39413125) Journal
    The power budget for the laser obviously isn't zero; but if you only want to heat a very small area for a small fraction of a second the total power required to achieve truly alarming "watts/meter^2" is surprisingly small.

    More broadly, Seagate probably knows as well as anybody(although certainly isn't happy about it) that the small-n'-low power market is basically lost for mechanical HDDs. Game over. They'll stick around in cheapie laptops because they are cheap, and in crazed-enthusiast DTR and workstation models because they are huge; but Flash is taking over the good bits.

    In those areas where Serious Storage Capacity still counts, the energy cost of having X platters and 2X heads fighting air resistance as they zip around at high speeds really starts to add up. If you increase the areal density of a platter, you increase the storage capacity of a given number of platters, allowing your customers to either reduce platter counts for a constant workload, or maintain constant platter counts under an increased workload.
  • Re:Wondering (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:26AM (#39413757)

    Don't kid yourself, this is the dying breath of the HDDs.

    How much is a 60TB SSD, and how many times will I be able to write to it before destroying the disk when you're using a process small enough to pack that 60TB into a box the size of an HDD? Each new process shrink seems to be dramatically reducing the write limit for SSDs.

    You go right ahead and wait for 2 fucking hours for your 50 GB Bluray image to be copied/processed on your mechanical toaster; I'm sticking with my 1 minute with complete silence and low power consumption.

    Even my 'Green' HDD manages sustained writes at 80-100MB per second, and why would anyone in their right mind be copying a $10 Bluray onto an SSD that costs more than a dollar per gigabyte?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:40AM (#39413919)

    Because we think your way is bollocks.

    BZZZZZT! Caught out! You're not a 'US-ian' - 'bollocks' is English English, not American English. You take it in Inches *and* centimetres!

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:41AM (#39413935) Homepage

    Granted most of *us* can find something to fill it but when Dell and other bulk PC makers start including 1TB or 10TB drives in their basic PC's, most of it will still be unused by the general public.

    Ridiculous. That same claim has been made over and over for the last 30 years, and proven wrong each time.

  • Re:Wondering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Githaron (2462596) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:49AM (#39414045)

    ...this is the dying breath of the HDDs.

    With 60 TB drives, assuming they will run around the price of current hard drives, not likely. SSDs and hard drives will just co-exist. SDDs for things that need to be fast (OS, software, etc.) and hard drives for everything else (pictures, videos, documents, etc.).

    60 TB might seem like a lot now but I am sure that humanity will figure out new ways to fill the capacity. We always do.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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