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Hitachi paves the way to larger HDDs

Hitachi paves the way to larger HDDs

A 4TB drive could be in your computer soon. But how long will it take for 1PB of storage?

A single drive holding 4TB of storage could be in your desktop within a couple of years if Hitachi's new technology holds true. The company has announced a new head-shrinking technology that will enable storage densities to increase beyond the 200Gbits per square inch that is in today's top end HDDs.

Increasing areal density is becoming increasingly problematic but the problem doesn't seem to rely on the the density itself, but rather the ability to read it. Current tunnel magnetoresistance heads may not be reliable for use past the 500Gbit per square inch density mark. By shrinking TMR heads, electrical resistance and noise is generated which may cause reliability and performance issues.

This is where Hitachi's latest head technology comes into play. The company is planning to implement a new technology, called Current Perpendicular-to-the-Plane Giant Magneto-Resistive (CPP-GMR) heads, in order to overcome the issue. CPP-GMR heads use a conductor between two magnetic layers and a perpendicular current instead of an insulator and parallel current like in TMR heads. This allows the heads to be shrunk without succumbing to the electrical resistance problems.

Hitachi plans to implement CPP-GMR heads into HDDs in 2009.

Until the manufacturing cost of solid state HDDs hits a lower point, traditional HDDs will remain a staying point in our everyday lives. Since SSD is a semiconductor technology, the technology simply can't compete with HDDs when it comes to cost-per-bit.

Is that shiny 1TB HDD simply not enough storage space for your needs? For many of you, that seems to be the case. So, can I mark you down for one, two, or three 4TB HDDs? Let many know how many you want over in the forums.

28 Comments

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Bluephoenix 15th October 2007, 16:31 Quote
I'll take 8 for a RAID 6 array :):p
Delphium 15th October 2007, 16:44 Quote
I dunno, I just dont feel safe putting data on such large drives, im not yet 100% confident about 1tb disks.
Having had hard drives die on me in the past, a 4tb or even a 1tb drive loss could be rather painfull without some form of a reliable backup solution.
Used in RAID of cause is a different matter, so I would never buy just 1 of these on there own :|

8x4tb in raid 6... yer I could settle for that :)
LeMaltor 15th October 2007, 16:54 Quote
Imagine a 4TB Deathstar going belly up lol :p
steveo_mcg 15th October 2007, 17:04 Quote
i'll get the first pron gag in then shall i.,..... 4tb that's a lot of PRON!

I suppose if the costs come down then backing up would be less painful one in your rig and one in a file sever everything is copied overnight but right now lossing even 500gb is painful.
E.E.L. Ambiense 15th October 2007, 17:23 Quote
After the whole 'deathstar' debacle, I can safely say I generally choose Hitachis for customer builds and have never had one go bad out of dozens of systems. I use one of the SATA units in my 98SE (!) recording system for a couple years without incident. Good quiet reliable drives.

I'm looking forward to seeing where they are going with this.
MilkMan5 15th October 2007, 17:40 Quote
Bring it on…

The bigger the drive sizes, the better for us all – just thing about how cheap a 500MB drive will be then!
Hells_Bliss 15th October 2007, 17:44 Quote
did you mean GB? :p

4tb drives? good god thats a lot of songs/movies/porn/games :D
Renoir 15th October 2007, 17:51 Quote
With these high capacity drives the only reasonable way of backing them up is to another high capacity drive. DVDs would take forever and blu-ray/hd-dvd isn't going to become viable for a good while by which time we'll be up even higher in HDDs. Suppose we better get used to buying drives in pairs
MilkMan5 15th October 2007, 18:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Bliss
did you mean GB? :p

xtroid22k 15th October 2007, 20:28 Quote
Well,

Ok; data needs will always increase by the minute. I remeber being hyped about my 1.2GB HDD back 12 years ago. Here we are today at 1TB and now 4TB; no supprise. I will never have an issue getting a 4 or 8 or who knows a 1 Petabyte drive down the road.

The problem is, that saving data was easy years ago; but with the onsite of higher data storage. Enterprise level backup solutions will have to make it down to the home market in some way or fashion. Especially a coast effective solution.

Thanks
HourBeforeDawn 15th October 2007, 20:49 Quote
WOW AWESOME

but

god imagine how freaking LONG it would take to format the damn thing, be like alright I started formating I will see you in a day or two lol and if that drive ever crashed your screwed....
proxess 15th October 2007, 21:37 Quote
sooo much pr00000n *drools*
g3n3tiX 15th October 2007, 22:08 Quote
CPP-GMR ? I'd rather ASHPD...

seriously, this means a LOT of space...and the technology looks like it comes straght from the Nobel Prize winner(s)...(French, yay! and German)
Hurray for Science ! (and Physics that enable us to store a lot of ...uh...media on our HDD !
knuck 15th October 2007, 22:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
WOW AWESOME

but

god imagine how freaking LONG it would take to format the damn thing, be like alright I started formating I will see you in a day or two lol and if that drive ever crashed your screwed....


It's actually a good point.They will need to find a way to format the drives faster than the regular technique...Because even a quick format will take FOREVER
DXR_13KE 15th October 2007, 23:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
sooo much pr00000n *drools*

in your case hentai :p..... but anyway that is a *hit load of pron.......

edit: imagine the read speeds on those.....
The_Beast 15th October 2007, 23:36 Quote
wow 4TB is a ton of data
completemadness 16th October 2007, 00:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
It's actually a good point.They will need to find a way to format the drives faster than the regular technique...Because even a quick format will take FOREVER
A quick format should just erase the file table or whatever, so it will still only take like 1 min

As the density will have increased, the speed of the drive will be higher, but even then a full format could take like 2 hours
Breach 16th October 2007, 02:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.E.L. Ambiense
After the whole 'deathstar' debacle, I can safely say I generally choose Hitachis for customer builds and have never had one go bad out of dozens of systems. I use one of the SATA units in my 98SE (!) recording system for a couple years without incident. Good quiet reliable drives.

I'm looking forward to seeing where they are going with this.

Yeah I have 2 160Gb Hitatchis that are still running strong after over 2 years. As I remember the "Deathstars" were one particular drive model, not the whole line.

But hot damn, 4Tb, I dont think every DVD movie, mp3 and program in my entire house would take up that much space...yet :D
E.E.L. Ambiense 16th October 2007, 02:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breach
Yeah I have 2 160Gb Hitatchis that are still running strong after over 2 years. As I remember the "Deathstars" were one particular drive model, not the whole line.

Yeah, the 160's in particular. Nice quiet fast drives, and they stay cool too. In fact, just got another one in the post today in fact for yet another build!

The "Deathstar" thing was annoying because many started crying wolf over anything with a Hitachi logo on it, it seemed like. Come on, like WD and Seagate haven't made any lemons before. Don't even get me started on Maxtor. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breach
But hot damn, 4Tb, I dont think every DVD movie, mp3 and program in my entire house would take up that much space...yet :D

lol. Worth a try though!
tuteja1986 16th October 2007, 06:26 Quote
I want 2 of them for raid 1 action in my file server. I would go with three but raid 5 but it ain't that reliable ;(

My gaming comp has 2x 320GB WD HDD in raid 0 , 4GB gigabyte iram but soon i will be upgrading it to 2x 150GB WD rapotor.
mp3manager 16th October 2007, 06:50 Quote
A 4Tb drive would be pretty sweet in a TiVo
DeXtmL 16th October 2007, 08:35 Quote
4TB hdd!!
That's large enough for me. But without speed increment, searching or detecting bad sector in such a giant monster would be too long (or even impossible without certain patient)
Aankhen 16th October 2007, 10:46 Quote
I'll take 25 please. With faster transfer rates than today. Faster by an order of magnitude, that is.

I'm not looking forward to backing up 4 TB of data on another 4 TB drive at 105 MB/s.
Supra55 16th October 2007, 13:29 Quote
Would be nice for backup with all my media server wise and for allot of my personal stuff (120Gb right now expanding to 600gb with all these new things I have) Plus they already have a PB labryinth priced at 30+ million, so if you can pay it then go ahead and buy it (it was released late last year, still have the CPU mag)
gvblake22 16th October 2007, 22:35 Quote
I may be the only one here that is not enthusiastic about these drives, but I could care less about 4TB of storage. I can't even fill up a 320GB drive, let alone 4TB! I'm sure performance will be a little better with the higher density and all, but I'm not expecting anything earth shattering. I would like to see drive manufacturers start coming up with drives that are significantly FASTER, not just BIGGER!

What ever happened to the "hybrid" hard drives everyone was all hyped up about? What about faster spindle speeds? Seemed to work for Western Digital...
Bluephoenix 16th October 2007, 22:54 Quote
the best application I see for these for regular consumers who don't use as much space as us tech-heads is as long-term backup drives.
Fozzy 17th October 2007, 09:34 Quote
These things are awesome.....but it's almost like it's too much ya know? I mean it was cool to see HDD's double their capacity when it meant another 100gigs of space....but quadrupling it? Not that I'm complaining but jeeze that's a lot of space. I run two 74gb Raptors, a 320gb WD and a 500GB WD.....I've had these drives for two years and I haven't filled up the 320 yet. One of my 74gb's is full and the other has a few apps. And I download a TON......It's just hard to take in is all. Hey maybe when WD figures out how to make 8 terrabyte drives EA will have figured out how to make a decent game.
MilkMan5 17th October 2007, 11:46 Quote
Well, to be fair, it may seem like a lot for the average person, but not for business.
I know business that use a lot of drives, this will now give them the opportunity to have less drives on their systems.

I guess in a way, its good because one will use less power and less heat will be generated from say, one 1TR drive as appose to using say 4x 250MB drives (just an example).

Nowadays, its very common to have digital pictures on your PC averaging 5~6MB each.
I have a friend with a 500Gig HDD full of MP3, music video and very-high quality digital pictures.

Yes, 4TR is huge, agreed, but for big business, 4TR is simply just not enough.

Now 1PB – that will be interesting, hopefully it will not be on a spinning drive with limited transfer rates.

;)
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