Thursday, 28 June 2007

Awesome less boxes!

Finally - a 1 TeraByte hard drive!
Seagate released a 1TB HDD a few days ago, not long after Hitachi released its 1TB model. The RRP so far is around AUD$450 (US$399) so its not at all over priced. In fact its almost in line with current HD prices. I mean AUD$0.45/GB isn't a bad price at all. I mean if this trend actually went into the current hard drive market, we would only be paying $36 for an 80GB HD.

So, for those of you curious as to why the 1TB drive is a feat worth mentioning, and why there have been sudden jumps from the classic 80/120/160/250GB drives to 1TB (500GB wasn't all that popular - like the Hitachi Mammoth drive).

Up until recently hard drive technology was slowing down in the rate at which it could increase data density on the hard drive platters. Essentially about to contradict Moore's Law if this had in fact happened.

Since a few years ago, some very clever people came up with the concept of perpendicular recording of data bits. This meant that data density went up by a fairly decent amount.

Ok, I can imagine some of you are looking puzzled right now. Allow me to elaborate:

The current popular storage method is longitudinal recording, the new and improved method, perpendicular recording, puts the data bits on the platter a different way, essentially we can represent it like this:

(image courtesy of wikipedia)

So you see, this means that on the same amount of real estate (being the HD platter) we can now fit a lot more data bits. This allows for larger drives, more storage, less paper in boxes. In fact - one of these 1TB drives could hold enough documents that would approximately 50,000 trees worth of paper. Now all we need to do is stop printing every useless email, or tell your bank to send you online statements rather than mailing them to you. This way we can all save a few trees (or a whole forest if you feel like filling your new HD up with a few hundred gigabytes worth of books). OK I'll stop sounding like a tree hugger now!

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