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Data centers and archivers, TDK has your back. They have been working on increasing the storage density of traditional hard drives and managed to squish 1.5TB onto a single square inch of platter. This means a 3.5-inch disk's platter can hold 2TB of data. Multiply that by 5 platters and we will soon have 10TB drives.
The new technology relies on H/TAMR (Heat/ Thermal assisted magnetic recording) technology. This allows the bits to be flipped on the ultra dense platters. The technology has not yet been squished into a working hard drive, but rather the 2TB per platter was tested on a spin plate.
Drives based upon the new technology is due out commercially by the end of 2013, or early 2014. A working 10TB drive based upon this technology is set to be exhibited at the CEATEC show in Japan. This is the single largest jump forward for hard disk technology in a long time and will have large effects on notebook drives and data centers.
Large data is becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the rise of the cloud. People are collecting larger collections of music, videos, and files. As Internet speeds continue to increase, the web will become even more media intensive and require larger hard drives to store all of this data.
This is where TDK's new work shines. They have managed to squish 1.5TB into a single square inch, which is really impressive. At this density, a single platter inside the drive will be able to hold 2TB. Just remember how 2TB was hard to achieve just a few years ago. Now, imagine squishing 3 platters into a drive.
That would equate to a 6TB drive, seemingly more than enough for most desktop users, and an increase for servers that are running multiple 2TB drives. The new technology also has implications on mobile 2.5-inch drives. Mobile users will be able to carry more on their internal drive and shouldn't need to rely on an external solution.
The increase in density came from improvements in the read head as well as improvements in the hard disk medium. Mass production isn't expected to begin until 2014, though, so who knows where SSD technology will be by that point.
Western Digital have taken to Facebook to announce that they've sold over 90 million WD Green drives. As you probably already know, WD Green drives use less power, create less pollution, and saves water, too.
Western Digital have also explained just how much WD Green customers help save the planet with some interesting stats: 466,128,000 kWh saved, which is equal to one coal power plant, 279,676,800,800 grams less carbon dioxide emissions, 466,128,000 liters of water saved, and less water consumed with 9,322,560 liters.
They're some seriously powerful numbers, and this is just with the one particular series of hard disk drives!
The disk unit of Hitachi, HGST, have announced the development of something quite special, helium-filled hard drives. Helium-filled HDDs are set to me more energy-efficient, paving the way for higher storage capacity than normal HDDs of today.
At the moment, HDDs are not sealed air-tight, they are affixed with dedicated channels so that the drive can balance its internal pressure with changes in external pressure. Because of this, the drives have a typical mixture of air inside them, which causes turbulence to the platters, which are usually spinning at over 7,200RPM.
HGST has a way around this, by sealing the drive off and filling the insides with helium. HGST have said that this achievement caused a 23% increase in power efficiency, as well as the ability to add two extra platters to a 3.5-inch hard drive. When helium is used, we could see HDDs pumped up to around 6TB in size.
Not at IDF 2012 - While looking for a local watering hole to get our morning Dirty Martini we passed a familiar face from OCZ Technology. As we went to exchange business cards, a PCB fell out of his pocket. We could tell it was something new, that 'new PCB' smell filled the air. It was so strong we could smell it through the antistatic bag.
What you are looking at is the OCZ Vector, OCZ Technology's upcoming flagship SSD. This product will sit atop the OCZ SSD hill and move the Vertex 4 down a step.
OCZ tells us the new Vector will be a better-rounded drive than Vertex 4. In our testing, we saw OCZ push the IOPS to new levels but low queue depth sequential performance suffered because of it on the Vertex 4. Vector is OCZ answer to that achieving the best of both worlds.
If the marketing and the manufacturing line up right we should get our first glimpse of Vector branded SSDs from OCZ in the middle of Q4 this year.
Corsair has released firmware version 5.03 for the 22** series of SandForce-based solid state drives. This firmware is the version that fixes TRIM, so it is an important update. Corsair has said that the update is designed to be non-destructive. That said, they still recommend backing up important data, and so do we.
The update has only been validated for Windows 7 and has not been tested on Windows Vista or XP. Corsair has written a post describing the update and providing instructions and the firmware files.
It's good to see manufacturers are starting to push out updates based upon the 5.03 firmware, because without TRIM, the performance of the SSD degrades and you lose that speed that you are used to.
WD have today unveiled some USB 3.0-powered HDDs for Mac. The drives arrive in the form of WD's My Passport for Mac range, and range up to 2TB in size. The added addition of USB 3.0 gives the My Passport for Mac drives a serious injection of speed, if you have an appropriate USB 3.0-powered Mac.
There aren't many on the market at the moment, but if you do have one, you'll enjoy much higher speeds than the USB 2.0 on most Apple systems, and with its small footprint, you can take it anywhere without having to worry about it being a nuisance.
My Passport for Mac drives also include password protection and hardware encryption features, which will protect your precious data in the case that someone steals it, or you were to accidentally lose it. WD's My Passport for Mac drives also slide nicely into the company's Nomad rugged case which protects your drive from dirt, dust, moisture, and sudden impacts.
Pricing on the My Passport for Mac is not bad at all, with MSRP pricing on the 500GB, 1TB and 2TB at $99.99, $129.99 and $199.99, respectively.
Western Digital are ready to shake up the external storage industry with their latest Thunderbolt-powered storage product, the My Book VelociRaptor Duo. The My Book VelociRaptor Duo comes with two 1TB 10,000RPM drives in RAID.
This means that the VelociRaptor Duo is capable of an astounding 760MB/sec write and 800MB/sec read. One of the better features that the new My Book VelociRaptor Duo sports is that it's user-serviceable. If you want to replace a drive, simply open the case, pull the existing drive out, and replace it with a new one.
The VelociRaptor Duo is also capable of daisy chaining with Thunderbolt, as the Thunderbolt technology has much more room to move within its architecture. USB 3.0 limits at around 350MB/sec of real-world performance, but Thunderbolt scales right up to 1GB/sec, meaning that you'd need to have some seriously fast internal storage to get close to that 1GB/sec mark.
MSRP on the 2TB WD My Book VelociRaptor Duo is $899.
Flash Memory Summit 2012 - It really didn't matter where you were standing at Flash Memory Summit, within ten feet was a product with either LSI or LSI SandForce silicon.
For years, LSI has played a significant role in several markets, video processing, encoding and so forth, but their largest presence has been enterprise storage. SandForce, before joining LSI was known for their consumer SF-1200 and SF-2200 controllers, but these products were created from their enterprise counterparts, SF-1500 and SF-2500. The enterprise SandForce parts were successful on their own, but by adding three letters to the SandForce name, LSI SandForce flash processor units are now displacing the competition from the enterprise sector.
These are not DDR3 DIMMs, they are Viking SATADIMMs using LSI SandForce SF-2500 Series FPUs. These products draw power from the DRAM bus, but are enterprise SSDs in an innovative form factor that allows for unprecedented scalability...
Flash Memory Summit 2012 - At Computex, Biwin distinguished themselves from the herd by showing the first Novachip Bugatti controlled SSD, NuvoDrive NX. We spent a few days with the upcoming NuvoDrive NX but that is old news now because Biwin just displayed an even more exciting product at Flash Memory Summit 2012.
We didn't get a chance to ask Biwin about the new drive but you know we are on top of it this morning. Under the heatsink is an undisclosed RAID controller, most likely either LSI or Marvell. Four mSATA SSDs using LSI SandForce FPUs are on each side for a total of eight.
On the connector side we found an 8x PCIe 2.0 connector, the industry standard at this time but PCIe 3.0 is just around the corner so this product may be shadowed by the start of 2013. Still, we'll take 8x LSI SandForce 2281 performance with PCIe 2.0 as a starting point.
We're excited about this one for sure!