Magnetic disks are dead, long live magnetic disks?

By Renegade on Monday 22 June 2009 16:23 - Comments (5)
Categories: HDD's, Performance, Views: 2.801

UK based startup DataSlide caught my eye today. I got a tip from a colleague to check them out, which is what I did.

They produce something called "HRD" or Hard Rectangular Drives.

As far as I can tell this is still a product that is on paper, but shows quite the potential and is an alternative to the existing storage media such as the regular hard drives and solid state drives.

Basically, they have a sandwich construction consisting of a dual-sided medium and on either side of this medium you will find a parallel 2D array of magnetic heads that can read or writes to up to 64 embedded heads at a time. A piezoelectric actuator moves the other media that contain the heads. These are seperated by a diamond coat that acts as a 'lubricant'.

Take a look at the following image to give you a better idea:

How the HRD works

Big advantage is that each head can read or write an entire sector at once. The density of the heads will then be the decisive factor in achieving throughput. Current theoretical limits are set up at around 160,000 IO/s and a throughput of around 500 MB/s at a power consumption of about 4W.

This looks impressive, and I can imagine that this might mean that our 'beloved' magnetic disks may not be dead quite yet. But untill we can actually hold one of the disks in our hands this is still all theory, be it an interesting theory. Let's see how this works out.

[update]
As RobIII kindly pointed out to me in the comments section of this post, I was a little bit too late in pointing this out. There is already a Dutch post about it here on Tweakers.net. Sorry for doubleposting. :)