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Toshiba Claims Bit-Patterned Drive Breakthrough

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the packing-in-the-bits dept.

Data Storage 151

CWmike writes "Toshiba will detail a breakthrough in data storage later Wednesday that it says paves the way for hard drives with vastly higher capacity than today, reports Martyn WIlliams. The breakthrough has been made in the research of bit-patterned media, a magnetic storage technology that is being developed for future hard disk drives. Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Under a microscope, the magnetic bits look like thousands of tiny spheres crammed next to each another. Data is stored on these magnetic bits: One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data. Prototypes of the media have been made before but Toshiba says its engineers have, for the first time, succeeded in producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows."

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First! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33292994)

:)

oh really? (0)

Yoweigh116 (185130) | about 4 years ago | (#33292998)

Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Under a microscope, the magnetic bits look like thousands of tiny spheres crammed next to each another. Data is stored on these magnetic bits: One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data.

Just like every other hard drive! Hooray for the future!

Re:oh really? (2, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33293074)

Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Under a microscope, the magnetic bits look like thousands of tiny spheres crammed next to each another. Data is stored on these magnetic bits: One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data.

Just like every other hard drive! Hooray for the future!

"Toshiba says its engineers have, for the first time, succeeded in producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows."

Just like every other hard drive! Oh, wait...

Re:oh really? (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#33293500)

I'm really exited to hear this:
Toshiba expects the first drives based on bit-patterned media to hit the market around 2013.

When was the last time we heard about a new tech breakthrough that wasn't followed up with "5 to 10 years" ...Though it might be 5 years by the time the price drops enough for the avg consumer.

Re:oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293556)

No worries! It'll still take 5-10 years, or longer. They just realized people like you hated hearing that, so they said 3 years instead to get you all excited.

Re:oh really? (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33293868)

So basically, they reinvented the hard-sectored disk? *confused*

Re:oh really? (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33294168)

Yes, but this one has sectors one bit long.

Re:oh really? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 years ago | (#33293922)

"Toshiba says its engineers have, for the first time, succeeded in producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows."

Just like every other hard drive! Oh, wait...

No, that would be magnetized areas read in circular columns.

Re:oh really? (1)

blai (1380673) | about 4 years ago | (#33293100)

notice where it says: "One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data."

HDDs are gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293002)

How do you spot a gay man in a crowd of people? They'll be carrying an IPhone.

Re:HDDs are gay (-1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33293544)


How do you spot a gay man in a crowd of people? They'll be carrying an IPhone.

Most crowds have multiple iPhone users... oh NO! Teh gheys are takin over!!!!11```````oneoneone

.

But can they afford it? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 4 years ago | (#33293018)

I've heard that patterned media will be too expensive to ever mass produce profitably so the industry will probably use HAMR instead.

Re:But can they afford it? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#33293740)

Who did you hear this from, a guy in a bar? Give us some details man, inquiring minds want to know. Wikipedia says Seagate is talking about a combination of patterned media and HAMR, but both technologies appear to be years into the future.

Increase the levels, always needs more levels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33294448)

Well it is just mostly common sense really. They are doing some incredible densities with this thing.
And the smaller things get, the more likely they are to break during vibrations.
The only way they could overcome the size requirements for the heads would be to have dual heads out of sync with each other, so one reads an odd row, one reads even. This way the heads can be a little larger, but the cost of having two heads, as well as the likeliness of losing either one, is just way too much. (pretty much why N+1 heads were abandoned for a single platter)

Another method was one i mentioned in a previous article: 4 bit storage, or higher.
Obviously the higher it goes though, the more prone to error as the field weakens, which is why hard drives should come standard with rewriting mechanisms to strengthen the field of weaker areas. (essentially the HDDs inverted friend to wear-levelling on SSDs)
But with higher bits comes massive increases in density. 4 bits alone would make 2 bit seem like something from the 70s.
So, it really is worth it... until SSDs came along, which has essentially started putting the nails on the coffin.
HDDs, one of the few remaining mechanical parts to be replaced in the majority. Its time is almost up.

I'm not a hardware guy (0, Redundant)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | about 4 years ago | (#33293052)

So how is this any different than existing HDDs?

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33293064)

So how is this any different than existing HDDs?

This is a hard drive on speed, known as ADHD (Advanced Digital Hard Drive).

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (1)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | about 4 years ago | (#33293084)

I mean from a technical standpoint, what's the difference between how this works vs how current HDDs work? I thought that currently data is already stored magnetically...

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (4, Funny)

Inner_Child (946194) | about 4 years ago | (#33293676)

Yeah, but there will be a million regular HDDs for sale that are mislabeled as ADHDs...

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33293730)

ADHD? Any relation to Toshiba's other advanced technology HDDVD?

>>>One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data

Why? Telephone modems can store 8 bits per symbol. Surely there must be some method to encode more bits per chunk of magnet.

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (0)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 4 years ago | (#33293096)

So how is this any different than existing HDDs?

I'm guessing existing HDDs aren't bit-pattered.

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (2, Informative)

atmtarzy (1267802) | about 4 years ago | (#33293136)

From what I read in the article, it looks like Toshiba's reduced the number of magnetic grains per bit from a few hundred down to just a few. Otherwise it appears everything is the same.

Very, very small isolated domains (5, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 4 years ago | (#33293202)

It's really quite obvious. Current drives have continuous media. Put very simply, this tends to "smear out" the magnetic field, because there is no magnetic break between the N and S poles of one bit, and the poles of another. This has two bad effects: unreliable bits (location in space), and the possibility that bits will simply flip as the head passes over them. By isolating very, very small domains in a structured way, with nonmagnetic regions between them, the problems are avoided since the bits, being isolated from one another, will not be subject to domain creep or interference.

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 4 years ago | (#33293432)

Exactly. The spherical description in the article is very apropos; the boundaries between bits are more discreet, meaning they can pack the bits much more densely than before. That's the breakthrough.

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33293502)

I think you said exactly the opposite of what you meant to say.

If the boundaries between the bits are more "discreet", then they are more hidden.

If the boundaries between the bits are more "discrete", then they are more distinct, and presumably will interfere with each other less often.

                                                      -Your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293648)

Hahaha, you're always so fun. Thank you, Nazi-Man.

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293698)

But from an engineer's perspective, if I build something with discrete components, that means I'm using individual components (transistors, diodes, resistors) instead of an all-in-one package IC.

His comment made sense to me; discrete as in separated.

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 4 years ago | (#33293768)

His comment made sense to me; discrete as in separated.

He said DISCREET, not DISCRETE.

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293990)

It was clear in context, there is no need to call him out and make a discreet difference between discrete and discreet, especially since they have the same root word.

But then again, you used your discretion to not use discretion, and decided to point out the discrete difference between discreet and discrete anyways. (all misspellings intentional)

Re:Very, very small isolated domains (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33294190)

>> His comment made sense to me; discrete as in separated.
>
> He said DISCREET, not DISCRETE.

I'm sorry but you've failed the Turning Test for this week. Please try again next week.

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33293212)

RTFA, it's enlightening, not all that technical, and not TLTR. And you really should learn how the hardware works; writing software is a LOT easier if you understand the underlying mechanics.

Re:I'm not a hardware guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293828)

I don't know, but we can probably count on SONY to introduce similar, yet more controllable, technology, and push Toshiba out of the game.

One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293144)

Who could have guessed it.

Re:One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data... (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33293180)

Except that current HDDs use a wider area of surface to write the data too as compared to this.

Bit = Binary Digit (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33293152)

Which moron marketer named these tiny magnetic domains "bits"? It's bad enough we already can't tell whether a "megabyte" is binary or decimal. Now we can't tell whether a "bit" is physical or virtual.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33293286)

What's your problem? I'm not upset. Not even the slightest little bit.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33293374)

It's bad enough we already can't tell whether a "megabyte" is binary or decimal. Now we can't tell whether a "bit" is physical or virtual.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33293654)

psssst

See how I used the word bit there to describe something really tiny? Maybe that has something to do with its referencing the physical "bit". As in, it overlaps both the digital bit and the physical bit. /whisper

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#33293700)

It's bad enough we already can't tell whether a "megabyte" is binary or decimal. Now we can't tell whether a "bit" is physical or virtual.

A megabyte always has been and always will be binary-based.

MB is not an SI scalar, nor did it ever pretend to be, nor is it conflicting with the SI scalar M.

The only confusion comes about when you try to insist that MB is infringing on some sacred, arbitrarily-based notion that all major scalars must be factors of 1000.

The "classical" units and scalars are themselves ambiguous. What does M mean? Meter? Mass? Minute? Mega? Milli? What does G mean? Gram? Giga? The gravitational constant? Is K kilo? Is it the spring constant? Is it Kelvin?

You can impose all the capitalization and styling rules you want, but the bottom line is that people cannot distinguish the 17 ways you write the letter "u", nor will they replicate them easily or reliably.
People read technical descriptions in context.

When you see MB, you KNOW you're talking about megabytes, and you KNOW bytes are binary. If you fail at this, you're either a marketer for storage devices (liar), or you should not be working with computer-related things.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 4 years ago | (#33293830)

You don't think they've bit off more than they can chew with a bit in their mouth?

Whether they call it "bit" or "mite" is rather irrelevant, IMHO, as long as it doesn't lead to another stupid acronym. What's important is that it isn't ambiguous, and it doesn't seem to be.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

Americano (920576) | about 4 years ago | (#33293352)

If there's a 1:1 correlation between "number of physical bits" and "number of virtual bits"... does it really matter? "Megabyte" being binary or decimal matters, because they're different sizes with the same name - a "binary" megabyte (1024^2 bytes) and a "decimal" megabyte (10^6 bytes) hold different amounts of data.

A "physical" bit on this storage, and a "virtual" bit in memory hold the same amount of data, from what the article says... so why would this cause all kinds of confusion? One is the physical implementation, one is the software representation of it.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (2, Informative)

DeKO (671377) | about 4 years ago | (#33293742)

For the uniformed: with today's technology, a 1:1 correlation between data bits and magnetic "bits" is nearly impossible. We have to interleave data bits with clock bits, so we are able to count runs of equal bits. So the data bits are encoded on this interleaved stream of data and clock/sync bits before it is actually stored in the physical medium. If the bit-patterned layout doubles as a clock/sync mechanism we can store only the data bits (with error correcting codes too, of course).

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

Americano (920576) | about 4 years ago | (#33293810)

Interesting to know - but as a mostly uninformed sort... is this an argument for using some sort of other term for them, or does this suggest that there is NOT a 1:1 correlation between physical bits and virtual bits?

I'm not clear on what you're trying to say here, other than to share this info about how it works.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (2, Interesting)

DeKO (671377) | about 4 years ago | (#33294118)

There is not a 1:1 correlation, but there might be now. With all physical bits being data bits we could gain up to 100% more data bits on the same area.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (0, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33293820)

Well I can see why the guy would complain, after all marketing drones fucked us with the whole "Megabyte" bullshit in the first place. For those that are too young to remember once upon a time we didn't have that "Gibi" bullshit, because frankly we didn't need it. Everyone knew a byte was 8 bits, so everyone knew base 10 didn't apply in computers, being binary and all.

But then came the "Race to 1Gb!" which was trumpeted by the PC rags and which the marketing drones knew would make whichever storage company hit it first a truckload of cash. so some asswipe in marketing gets the bright idea "Hey, if we go by base 10 instead of base 2 like everybody else, we can say our drives are bigger than they actually are! we'll make a fortune!" and now we have guys here arguing with a straight face that we should do it like the marketing drones even though a byte is STILL 8 bits.

So as long as it stays a 1:1 ratio, I have no problem with it. But if some marketing asshat figures out a way to fudge the numbers to make their drives look bigger again I say we take them out back and stone them with old Deathstars as a warning to the marketing drones not to fuck with our numbering systems again.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | about 4 years ago | (#33294192)

Everyone knew a byte was 8 bits, so everyone knew base 10 didn't apply in computers, being binary and all.

Parent has history backwards. Disks were invented, and measured in megabytes, back when bytes were not necessarily 8 bits and computers were not necessarily sold as "binary" machines. The typical disk record was 80 bytes long, since it came from a Hollerith card. The IBM 1401 [ibm-1401.info] was typically sold with 4K bytes of main memory. Four thousand 6-bit bytes.

What does the fact that computer cards ... (1)

crovira (10242) | about 4 years ago | (#33294586)

were originally the same size as the US currency in use in the late nineteenth century have to do with anything?

Punchdcards were later shifted to 96 columns and the dimensions of the card shrunk from the old format (which I still remember fondly along with my old IBM 29 keypunch,) to these tiny punch cards.

None of this made any sense back in the nineteen-seventies and none of this makes any sense now.

A typical record was an integer divisable fraction of the 19k 3330 DASD write buffer length when I was working for CN back in the late nineteen-seventies.

Later when I was responsible for coming up with an archiving scheme for Canada Post, when the so-called records could be scanned images of payroll records from the nineteen-thirties and forties, there was no such thing as a fixed format for an employees' file and the hundreds and thousands of transaction records.

Depending on a fixed format record layout is something reprehensible only a unit-record fascist would do.

Reality is a lot more flexible.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 years ago | (#33294290)

I'm sure the next thing will be the bits (in base 10 of course) that are available before the ECC, clock bits, sector relocation table, and other niceties are put in. Similar to raw capacity versus formatted capacity, except before the critical HDD functions are factored in.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33294620)

No, you're an imbecile.

It was always base 10, everything works nicely in base 10, except your crappy PC software.

10GigE, despite your fantasy that "base 10 didn't apply in computeres" is 10 000 000 000 bits per second.

The endless rants about how disks "should" use a different measuring system are bullshit.

Yes, RAM comes in binary rounded quantities. That's because the RAM chips are made in binary rounded quantities. Notice how they made 256MiB DIMMs, not 250MiB or 300Mib? That's because they're inherently binary. But disks aren't. That's why you don't have a 256GiB disk, but most likely a 320GB or 240GB. The sizes depend on non-binary factors like the platter size.

So, buy binary things in binary quantities, and for everything else don't be a jerk and pretend you're entitled to more than you paid for.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33293876)

Parity bits and other similar forms of error correction need physical bits, but don't provide any virtual bits to anything outside the drive itself. The number of (accessible) virtual bits will be lower than the physical number. On the other hand, a drive with built-in compression would offer more virtual bits than it has physical ones.

Re:Bit = Binary Digit (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33294196)

We'll call them phybibits and vibibits and then you won't have to worry.

I read TFA (5, Informative)

Megahard (1053072) | about 4 years ago | (#33293162)

They claim that this will increase the density 5x.

Re:I read TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293608)

Damnit... how about a spoiler alert tag next time!

Also (0)

carrier lost (222597) | about 4 years ago | (#33293168)

Whatever happened to bubble memory and optical buses?

I'm sure I'll get tore up on the details... (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | about 4 years ago | (#33293442)

But, bubble memory was more expensive than the hard drives they were intended to replace. Now, we are focused on using various flash memory schemes to accomplish the same feat. Is flash memory related to bubble memory? Who knows, but it fills the same niche, so I'm saying that flash enherited bubble's legacy, to replace hard drives with solid state, non volatile memory

As far as Optical Buses go, isn't that pretty much dominated by Fibre Channel? We use it to connect processors to processors and SANs to processors, so that seems pretty bus-like.

So, maybe the trademarks died, but these products are based on the tech that came before them.

What video do we get this time? (2, Funny)

IICV (652597) | about 4 years ago | (#33293194)

I'm kind of curious; after the "Get Perpendicular! [youtube.com] " video, how's Toshiba going to top Hitachi in the "silly video explaining your new technology" race?

After reading TFA, I'm almost scared that it'll involve some sort of cartoon magnetic grain orgy.

Re:What video do we get this time? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#33293764)

Whatever it is it cannot be worse than "the hard drive is the new bling" that Hitachi did. Look that one up... it is heinous. It could only have been worse if they had done it in blackface.

Re:What video do we get this time? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33294284)

At least it's not a breakthrough in Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording. I can just imagine a 'HAMR Time' video.

how this differs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293208)

here is a link which might explain things more clearly

http://www.bentham.org/nanotec/samples/nanotec1-1/Piramanayagam.pdf

Re:how this differs (1)

Cochonou (576531) | about 4 years ago | (#33293418)

This is really a good paper. Thanks !

Advancing the Past (0)

harlequinade (1122273) | about 4 years ago | (#33293246)

The 'next big thing' in HDD's was supposed to be Solid State...So what are these numchucks doing improving what's now seen as the past??

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33293298)

Because HDDs aren't the past and aren't going away anytime soon? It's no different than the fact that 3.5" floppies and tape drives and tapes are still sold despite being proclaimed as being "the past" and dead.

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#33293752)

Tape drives, sure. 3.5" floppy drives? Seriously?

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33294188)

Yes [frys.com] .

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

city (1189205) | about 4 years ago | (#33293322)

If it lights a fire under both their asses to get to the market at an affordable price, who cares?

Re:Advancing the Past (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 years ago | (#33293328)

Because solid state's main hold back has always been capacity. Magnetic media capitalizing on it's main selling point isn't unexpected.

Besides, I see the future is being a mix. Solid state for my boot drive containing all my programs and such. Magnetic media for my Bittorrent and iTunes drive where I need space but not speed (afterall write speeds to those drives are limited by my dirt slow internet speed, and read speads only have to be quick enough to keep up with playback).

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 years ago | (#33293744)

My write speed is usually limited by the fact that some large memory program gets swapped out to disk, and needs to get swapped back in. Or Some other app that has nothing to do with what I really want to get done decides to start thrashing the hard drive. If all everyone ever needed was to play mp3s, or watch a video, without doing anything else, we wouldn't need solid state drives. But once you start doing stuff that's quite intense on your drive, you start to realize why it would be nice to have a drive that can read faster for all your data. Once SSDs get up to around 2TB, people won't care about how large hard drives are. Because for the most part, SSDs will be big enough, and most people don't want to shell out and buy 2 drives.

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33294262)

> Once SSDs get up to around 2TB, people won't care about how large hard drives are.

Yes, and 640k is all that anyone will ever need.

Meanwhile, there are already those of us that not only imagine a use for more than 2TB
of disk space are actually using much more than that already. Just let granny loose with
a hi def video camera and watch that disk space quickly disappear.

Already still cameras seem like something to inspire an Odo rant from DS9.

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#33293368)

Because it's also the present?

I make $N million a year selling hard drives. But wait! Flash drives are the future! I don't need to spend any money making my hard drives better; I'll just sit out the last 5-10 years' worth of profits in that business. Someone else can have them; I don't mind. Really. No worries at all. It's only money, after all.

Re:Advancing the Past (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 years ago | (#33293594)

However the smart hard drive vendor would realize that spinning platters are headed out the door, and that they should invest in solid state technology, lest they be left in the dust. There's nothing really stopping the availability of high capacity SSDs except cost. You can already get 1.28 TB SSDs [fusionio.com] with insane speeds (1.1 GB/s read, 1.5 GB/s write), if only you're willing to pay the cash. As prices come down, there will be no reason to get a spinning platter drive. Notice how all the SSD makers are not the big HardDisk makers. They should be shaking in their boots, because a large part of their business is going to go away within 5 years. If spinning platter makers don't change something soon, their market is going to be reduced to a small fraction of what it was.

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33293760)

However the smart hard drive vendor would realize that spinning platters are headed out the door

Like 3.5" floppies and tapes, right? Oh wait...

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 years ago | (#33293910)

Yes, those markets have been completely decimated by other storage solutions. Sure some floppy disks are sold, but the number of disks has taken a drastic hit [computerworld.com] in recent years. I imagine the same is true for tapes. People will still buy hard drives for many years to come, but if the only thing you sell are spinning disk hard drives, like Western Digital and Seagate, then you should be really worried, because while the market won't dry up over night, over the next 5 years, the market is going to diminish.

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33294240)

but if the only thing you sell are spinning disk hard drives, like Western Digital and Seagate,

Oh [newegg.com] Rly? [seagate.com]

Re:Advancing the Past (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33294304)

Spinny disks just upped the ante here by a factor of 5.

Meanwhile, serious SSD's might become cheap enough for a consumer to consider eventually...

Knowing that something like "entire movies stored on your computer" is inevitable someday is one thing. Expecting it tomorrow is another.

Sometimes it takes 10 or 20 years for reality to catch up.

Re:Advancing the Past (3, Funny)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 4 years ago | (#33294406)

Obsolete 2TB spinning platter device = $99.99
New hotness 640GB flash device = $14,500.00

There's nothing really stopping the availability of high capacity SSDs except cost.

Oh, well then... There's nothing really stopping me from being the next Governor of California [msn.com] . Jump on the bandwagon for my inevitable victory!

Re:Advancing the Past (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293384)

SSD's have a speed advantage, HDD's have a size advantage. If this works and is mass-producible, it would make HDD's a lot larger. There will always be a need for mass storage, and SSD's won't replace that anytime soon (or ever?).

Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293280)

Hard drives are way too fragile, I don't want one to hold even 20GiB of data let alone 20PiB. Sure SSD's are expensive, but when you take in account the extra work and media when backing up >1TiB, let alone recovering from a >1TiB disaster, they're really all worth the extra money. Now I've dropped SSD's to the floor and they're fine, try that with a shiny new HDD and you'll regret it pretty soon.

Also, newer HDDs I've bought have failed sooner then old ones. In fact, I have HDDs still running from 2003 that have outlived more HDDs then I can remember exactly from my aging low-tech carbon-based neuron memory.

Re:Do not want (2, Funny)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 4 years ago | (#33293640)

Personally, I avoid dropping electronics, especially ones with moving parts, on to the floor. Or any other surface, for that matter. Helps a lot.

HTH, HAND

Re:Do not want (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 years ago | (#33294360)

Backing up a 1TB hard drive is a trivial concern when measured against the cost of a 1TB SSD.

The gulf in price between spinny disks and SSD buys a lot of redundancy.

then there is support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293420)

God help you if you ever need to contact their support.

It will be your fault and your problem.

Supportwise they are far and away the worst of a bad lot

Toshiba... Meh! (0, Flamebait)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | about 4 years ago | (#33293642)

I still can't get past the non-standard floppy drives they shipped in the nineties

Definately not a good way to build confidence with the consumer public

Re:Toshiba... Meh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293880)

yes one 20 year old incident during the time where everyfucking body had their own floppy disk format is good reason to shun a company for life

what about apple? what about IBM? etc

Im still pissed off my copy of pc dos requires 2.8mb floppy's dammit

time to move on dude

Re:Toshiba... Meh! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 years ago | (#33294348)

actually, you can still buy the 2.88MB floppy drive, IBM MF356F-815MB, but it's $130. The SCSI TEAC FD-235J 5604 2.88MB SCSI floppy can be had for $290

100TB, here we come! (2, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 4 years ago | (#33293478)

RIAA must be rolling on the floor having a seizure right about now...

Quick explanation (5, Informative)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | about 4 years ago | (#33293518)

For those who are too lazy to RTFA, here's a very simplified explanation of what's going on:

In current drives a bunch of rather randomly sized and shaped magnetic grains are basically "glued" to the surface of the drive, and the collective orientation of a certain number of those grains (called a domain) determines whether you've got a 1 or a 0.

In this, instead of dumping grains onto the surface, they're using lithography to carve very precise grains onto the disk, which can be made much smaller and more identical in shape, than the random ones allowing for vastly higher storage densities. It's basically applying the same technology used to make computer chips to make hard drives. The technology has actually existed for a while, but the cost per bit to pattern lithograph a hard drive has always been huge; I guess Toshiba has figured out how to bring it under control. Cool stuff.

Re:Quick explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33293670)

For those who are too lazy to RTFA, here's a very simplified explanation of what's going on:

In current drives

Ya lost me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CEJR4_vV9A

Re:Quick explanation (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33293776)

Some people will probably need a car analogy to sum it all up.

Re:Quick explanation (2, Interesting)

S-100 (1295224) | about 4 years ago | (#33294022)

OK, I'll give it a try.

Existing disc platters are like parking in a field. Each car has to find its way to a spot that is clear of surrounding vehicles, and there is no pre-defined organization of the parking spots. So typically, extra space will be wasted in pathways for cars to get in and out, and there will be the inevitable mishaps with cars trapped in their spots or with no escape.

The new method precisely defines each parking spot, and there is an optimal amount of space provided for every car to get in and out. That means a lot more cars can park within a given area, and there's less of a chance for trapped cars or fender-benders.

And consistent with all car analogies, it is not 100% accurate...

Re:Quick explanation (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33294286)

I don't know about a car, but 2.5 Tb/in^2 makes the tracks one 645th the width of a human hair.

Re:Quick explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33294024)

Wow, that's an awesome car!

Re:Quick explanation (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 4 years ago | (#33294028)

I'll take a crack at that.

Point to point distance of: car vs train.

A car is like existing drive technology. Depending on who's driving (manufacturer), the road (materials used), the point-to-point distance (inverse of capacity) of a trip varies. If the driver isn't an expert, he might be all over the road (more magnetic surface used) - adding distance to the trip (decreasing capacity). Additionally, if the road is rough (randomly sized magnetic grains) distance is added to the trip.

A train, however, utilizes a fixed width track. The driver only needs a vehicle capable of mounting the track. The point-to-point distance is always the same (most efficient, less surface used) because the driver cannot deviate from the track. There is no deviation in the size of the track, it's always smooth.

how was that?

Re:Quick explanation (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 4 years ago | (#33294160)

I want to see the PizzaAnalogyGuy [slashdot.org] version!

Re:Quick explanation (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 4 years ago | (#33294296)

So, basically, you won't be able to get your data that 'last' mile to actually make it useful? Heck, that doesn't sound so good.

Re:Quick explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33294116)

Ok: Toshiba filled the highways with busses full of clowns instead of Ford Excursions with only a driver.

Re:Quick explanation (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | about 4 years ago | (#33294126)

Drawing a centerline on a dirt road with a stick vs. a paved and painted road surface?

Cairo vs. L.A. (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33294394)

Some people will probably need a car analogy to sum it all up.

Ok - in LA you have seventeen or so lanes of traffic. But because they are all headed the same direction, they all sit at a standstill pointed the direction they are supposed to be going.

Now compare that to Cairo, which has cars going every which way along with camels and a million pedestrians per square mile. In Cairo everyone sits at a standstill, but they may not be pointed where they want to go, with the single side benefit that they can buy figs at any time from a local street vendor.

Wait, what was the subject again?

Thanks, firehose (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33293572)

You know, I deliberately posted a different version of this summary [slashdot.org] specifically because the summary that was selected here is a lazy cut-and-paste of the poorly written lead of TFA itself.

And not only wasn't my superior summary not selected, but it's been deleted from the firehose page [slashdot.org] , where it should appear between Minority Report Style Iris Scanners in Mexico [slashdot.org] and Cats Lies and the Research PR Machine [slashdot.org] .

Slashdot has gone from valuable to random, and is going from random to stupid.

Re:Thanks, firehose (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33293802)

specifically because the summary that was selected here is a lazy cut-and-paste of the poorly written lead of TFA itself.

But that was specifically why sampenzus picked this version. He is all about stupid. Have you not seen the rest of the shlock he posts?

Re:Thanks, firehose (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33294086)

You think that /. employees are actually using any sort of qualitative decisionmaking criteria when selecting articles for the main feeds?

That ended long ago.

Now they take whatever has the highest +/- ratio when the bell rings to churn the ad stream.

I'm not sure who deleted my version of the link or why, but I'm sure that it involved a long, heartfelt, gut-wrenching decision to do the right thing. Not.

Re:Thanks, firehose (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | about 4 years ago | (#33294608)

Just read your summary, its right on the money, boggles the mind why it got yanked :( I think Slashdot is moving from being a news place for nerds to being a battleground for religions like Mac, Palm, Windows and Android...
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