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Toshiba makes storage breakthrough

Toshiba makes storage breakthrough

Future Toshiba hard drives could be built around bit-patterned media - and hold five times as much data.

Toshiba has announced what it calls a breakthrough in magnetic storage - bit-patterned media - which the company claims will result in massive storage improvements for future hard drives.

According to pre-announcement coverage by iTworld, Toshiba's new technology uses bit-patterned media - disk platters covered in microscopic spheres of magnetic material, rather than a uniform coating - to store vastly more quantities of data than is currently possible on traditional magnetic storage drives.

While research into the same technology has been carried out before - even to the point of the creation of prototypes - Toshiba claims that its work represents the first time a prototype device has been created with the magnetic spheres aligned in a specific pattern. Without this alignment - missing from previous prototypes - it becomes impossible to find where particular data are stored, meaning the technology has never been usable as a product before.

While Toshiba's work is a long way from shop shelves - with the company claiming that the first products based around the technology won't be available until at least 2013 - the company appears a lot closer to success than most: as well as the alignment, Toshiba's prototype has been able to gather "usable signals" from data stored on the magnetic spheres via a specially constructed read-write head.

The reason for the company's efforts is simple: current magnetic media tops out at a data density of around 541Gb per square inch, but the bit-patterned prototype is already achieving densities equivalent to 2.5Tb per square inch - five times greater.

Should Toshiba succeed in commercialising the technology, it will have a head-start in producing ultra-high-capacity storage drives for those who need terabytes of data at their beck and call.

Are you amazed that such a massive leap in storage density is possible, or will you believe it when Toshiba launches its first 2.5in 10TB hard drive? Are you just surprised to see a storage company that hasn't put all its research money into SSD technology? Share your thoughts on Toshiba's work over in the forums.

29 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 18th August 2010, 10:05 Quote
Teras for my pr0ns! wohoo!
adam_bagpuss 18th August 2010, 10:49 Quote
bet data horders heads just exploded with the thought of filling all that space. If the high densities are possible then shouldnt a massive speed increase also happen ? granted its not gunna be SSD fast but i would imagine a lot faster than samsung F3
B1GBUD 18th August 2010, 10:56 Quote
I've always been impressed with Toshiba products, while the cost of SSD's hasn't come down anyware near the levels of mechanical drives, this shows that there is still more development left untapped.

Bravo!
TWeaK 18th August 2010, 11:26 Quote
When they get it working it will be a huge technological accomplishment but with all those specialised designs I shudder to think of the cost.
BRAWL 18th August 2010, 12:45 Quote
Thats alot of porn...

I'll be happy when we've got 50TB drives... and I own 12 of them >.<

Fantastic designs, the brainpower that goes into this stuff is truly awesome.
Hovis 18th August 2010, 14:26 Quote
Now we just need there to be enough stuff worth storing.
paisa666 18th August 2010, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
Now we just need there to be enough stuff worth storing.


GAMES, HD MOVIES, MUSIC, PORN :P
The_Beast 18th August 2010, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
Now we just need there to be enough stuff worth storing.

The internet.........






.......all of it
wiak 18th August 2010, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
Now we just need there to be enough stuff worth storing.

The internet.........






.......all of it
dude the internet will be 10 times bigger in volume, so you can get 50-100GB gmail account instead of ~8GB currencly :P
Showerhead 18th August 2010, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
The internet.........
.......all of it
All of it? Every Justin Beiber music video? Every scat film? Hell if you were to cut out the crap you maybe could get the internet onto one of their special drives.
Evildead666 18th August 2010, 16:08 Quote
Really Awesome tech.
Go Toshiba !!!!!!
CharlO 18th August 2010, 16:15 Quote
I don't want research on SSD to make them faster, I want them cheaper. They are fast already, but data density and price are stupid. I cannot see how a microSD can store 64gb and a 2.5" disk too and cost then to twenty times.
Redbeaver 18th August 2010, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Showerhead
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
The internet.........
.......all of it
All of it? Every Justin Beiber music video? Every scat film? Hell if you were to cut out the crap you maybe could get the internet onto one of their special drives.

but Usenet alone can...............
The_Beast 18th August 2010, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiak
dude the internet will be 10 times bigger in volume, so you can get 50-100GB gmail account instead of ~8GB currencly :P

sarcasm doesn't show well on the internet


:|
l3v1ck 18th August 2010, 16:25 Quote
Quote:
Are you just surprised to see a storage company that hasn't put all its research money into SSD technology?
Not at all. With media files getting bigger and bigger, larger and more reliable storage is always going to be required. I'd love to have two 10GB drives (in mirror raid) to back up all my films and music to.
Skiddywinks 18th August 2010, 17:01 Quote
I wonder what this will do for sequential read/write speeds (pretty obvious I think!). What about randoms as well? Will it be faster? Slower? Same seek times?

I'll be following this for sure.
saspro 18th August 2010, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Not at all. With media files getting bigger and bigger, larger and more reliable storage is always going to be required. I'd love to have two 10GB drives (in mirror raid) to back up all my films and music to.

You need more films & music then :D
_Metal_Guitar_ 18th August 2010, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quote:
Are you just surprised to see a storage company that hasn't put all its research money into SSD technology?
Not at all. With media files getting bigger and bigger, larger and more reliable storage is always going to be required. I'd love to have two 10GB drives (in mirror raid) to back up all my films and music to.

Are you sure you'd love that?
Elledan 18th August 2010, 18:07 Quote
15 TB HDDs by ~2013. Lovely :D
thehippoz 18th August 2010, 18:08 Quote
def going to pick one up for backup- 10 gb of storage would be nice.. imagine that's 5 2tb drives
l3v1ck 18th August 2010, 18:29 Quote
You know full well I meant 10TB.
Ending Credits 18th August 2010, 18:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Showerhead
All of it? Every Justin Beiber music video? Every scat film? Hell if you were to cut out the crap you maybe could get the internet onto one of their special drives.

You can get everything worth having from the internet onto a floppy disk.
thehippoz 18th August 2010, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
You know full well I meant 10TB.

xD I always make typos.. sometimes I'll actually edit

that's true cut out a lot of things you'll never use again.. editing video takes a bit though
jake9891 18th August 2010, 19:24 Quote
10 TB seems to be a lot now, but in a few years time it might be a minimum for laptops and stuff. Few years ago I didnt even think about having more than one 160 GB hdd, now my 2.5" external hdd (Toshiba as well) is 360 GB
HourBeforeDawn 18th August 2010, 19:38 Quote
wow thats certainly impressive, what I really would like to know is how their new read/write head works. Still this is freaking awesome.
mrbens 18th August 2010, 20:01 Quote
Sounds very impressive. Just be sure to buy 2 and use one as a backup! That'd be a LOT of data to lose!
play_boy_2000 18th August 2010, 20:56 Quote
My god, just think what the rebuild times would be on an low end raid 5 controller

I've currently filled 2.61TB out of 3.63TB and I'm adding around 300GB/year so with any luck these drives will be out just in time for my next upgrade :D
Elledan 19th August 2010, 07:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
My god, just think what the rebuild times would be on an low end raid 5 controller

I've currently filled 2.61TB out of 3.63TB and I'm adding around 300GB/year so with any luck these drives will be out just in time for my next upgrade :D

RAID 5 is dead, long live RAID 6 :)
Psytek 19th August 2010, 14:05 Quote
I'd much rather have this that an SSD any day.
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