Sometimes, it is hard to believe how fast storage technology evolves. While solid state storage occupies the vast majority of news headlines, more than 95% of storage revenue still comes from conventional magnetic-head technologies.
Personally, I feel that storage industry made an grave error when it didn’t put more accent on the distance between magnetic head and drive platters, as it is measured in the same distances as two transistors are separated inside the latest microprocessor. According to Seagate, the head is hovering above the hard drive with a cushion of some 100 atoms. The data itself is chopped into magnetic regions which are around 150nm wide and only 20-25nm long.
Sadly, the industry didn’t go into the “nanometer-race” lead by CPU and GPU vendors and as such, SSDs took center stage. Recently, we learned that Seagate is working on releasing a three terabyte 3.5″ and 1TB 2.5″ drive during 2010, which is a very impressive figure. The drive will operate in “green” mode, i.e. spinning from 5900-7200 rpm, followed later by the release of a 3TB 7200rpm drive.
It looks like Seagate went from 1TB to 1.5TB, 2TB and then went for the round 3TB capacity. As the time progresses, somehow we doubt we’ll see many X.20, or X.50 TB drives, given the focus of the industry on achieving as high reliability standards as possible – losing 3TB of data would amount to a nightmare for the buyers of the drives.
Given that you can purchase 2TB of storage for as low as $119.95 [recent special deal on a popular e-tail site], the future of storage is bright indeed. At press time, we had no details about the pricing for the 3TB drives, nor their release dates.
Original Author: Theo Valich
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