Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Winchester Technology: I'm Not Dead Yet

"Robert X. Cringely" of I, Cringely writes about an upgrade to hard disk technology that he is invested in, standard hard disk platters made of lighter, thinner aluminum or titanium foil. The result is more platters in a drive, more information packed on the platters, and a dramatic reduction in energy consumption. While the initial focus of the technology looks like mobile devices, the technology looks like it has application for the desktop:

The technology in question replaces the aluminum or glass platter in your hard disk drive with a "platter" made from stainless steel or titanium foil that is 22 microns or 25 microns thick, respectively. The materials cost more but we use so much less of it (the disk is so incredibly thin) that the total material cost is substantially less. This "floppy" material has the same kind of magnetic coatings used on standard disk drives and our drives live on the same technology growth curve as those others. The way we obtain greater storage density is simply by putting more platters in a drive (say 12-15 instead of 4-5 in an enterprise 3.5-inch drive) because they are much thinner and can be stacked closer together. The only parts of the drive that are significantly different are the platters and the heads and the heads vary only in having an extra slot. There is no rocket science here, but what science there is is patented.


Lot's more in the original article.

I'm mostly for removing high-speed, low-margin-of-error moving parts from the computer, but this technology looks very intriguing.

[ via LockerGnome Nexus ]

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