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A new start-up has produced viable optical disks that can hold 1TB or 2TB of data, an incredible feat considering Blu-ray disks usually hold 25GB, or 50GB in a dual layer version. Magnetic spinning disc drives have just recently topped the 2TB barrier with 3TB and even 4TB drives finally being available on the market.
However, an optical disk will be much cheaper to purchase for data back-up, though it can only be written to once. But for back-up, this really doesn't pose any sort of problems. And, since it is a disc, data can be located upon the surface in mere seconds instead of the minutes it can take to wind through magnetic tape, the current standard for backing up data.
"A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage," said Kenneth D. Singer, the Ambrose Swasey professor of physics, and co-founder of Folio Photonics. "But, they'll be substantially cheaper and have one advantage: you can access data faster. You just pop the disc in your computer and you can find the data in seconds. Tapes can take minutes to wind through to locate particular data."
The technology uses something I had previously read about. The new start-up has layered 64 data layers of optical film onto a standard DVD plastic base. Slight modifications to a standard disc drive allow the laser to read the different layers without any interference from the layers above or below the current layer being read.
Apple announced late last week that they'll be expanding their iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program, which would increase the number of machines eligible under the program to include iMacs sold between October of 2009, and July of 2011 with 1TB Seagate HDDs:
Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.
Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will replace affected hard drives free of charge.
The Cupertino-based company launched the program back in July 2011, but at the time it only covered certain machines covered between May 2011 and July 2011. Apple have demanded that the program be extended, and pushed further back to previous-dated iMacs, including machines as old as those sold back in October 2009.
I still remember the days of owning a 500MB HDD and thinking this was amazing, then the days of 8GB - 20GB HDDs were out when I was into the LAN scene and now we're looking at 3-4TB HDDs in a single drive, the storage industry really is just insane.
Well, WD are now offering their My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB drive, with 8TB in a single external storage option. On top of 8TB in a single package, you're also going to get the amazing Thunderbolt technology for some truly mind-blowing transfer speeds. WD even includes a Thunderbolt cable in the box, which is on one hand great to see, but I would expect a Thunderbolt cable to be in the box when selling me a product with Thunderbolt in the name.
The storage giant also offers the My Book 4TB storage drive which sports USB 3.0. WD's entry into 8TB is the first time the company has crossed the 8TB mark with a My Book device. WD's My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB is available in select US retailers, or on their online store for $849.99 MSRP. The My Book 4TB drive is available for $249.99.
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.