Storage

Coming soon to a laptop near you: 1.2TB hard drives


Hard diskIn the relentless bid to pursue ever greater aerial density on even smaller devices, Fujitsu will be announcing another breakthrough later this week related to perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.

In effect, the company has created ideally “ordered” alumina nanohole patterns for isolated bit-by-bit recording on a large disk area. This was achieved through a collaboration between Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Yamagata Fujitsu Ltd, as well as the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology.

According to PC World:

... Fujitsu says it has successfully demonstrated the ability to perform basic read/write capability of each individual nanoholes of the patterned media using a special flying head on a rotating disk.

Noted Joel Hagberg, vice president of business development at Fujitsu Computer Products of America, this breakthrough could well lead the company to produce hard drives with storage capacities of up to 1.2TB on a two-platter, 2.5-inch drive as soon as 2010.

More than just having mega-sized laptop hard drives, this research will certainly benefit the server room as well. This is especially true with the shift towards 2.5-inch SAS hard drives, led by vendors such as Hewlett Packard.

You can read the original PC World article here: Coming to Your Laptop: 1.2TB Hard Drives.

In the meantime, why not share with us how much disk capacity do you personally use and on what.

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

26 comments
Data Ninja
Data Ninja

Hitachi put out their announcement regarding the availability of a 1TB drive sometime back in January or so, long before Fujitsu. The simplicity of PMR is amazing, and not as complex as this blog might suggest. In fact, you can buy a Hitachi 1TB drive right now at Best Buy for ~ $400 USD. To achieve PMR, instead of writing the data in a linear (horizontal) format as current drives do, it's written in a vertical format which can quadruple the storage capability of current drives - no real magic to it.

webster_z
webster_z

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time available for completion. Derived from above: Data expands to fill the space available for storage Moore's Law along with the above derivation from Parkinson's Law have together brought us here. Wonder when and where they will hit the Laws of Physics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson's_law

steven.alker
steven.alker

Well, the number of observable atoms in the known universe is 10^81. The new disc would give us 1.2 x 10^12 bytes of storage. Using Moor?s Law of IT technology and speed doubling every 2 years and assuming that you could convert the entire universe into a single large piece of computer memory, it?s going to take approximately 514 years before we run out of Bytes and Bits to hold memory on - anywhere! Of course, it is foreseeable that there will be the odd other physical constraint which impedes progress en-route and spoils Moor?s Law.

mtodorov3_69
mtodorov3_69

It is not that impressive. It sounds like a collection of 20,000 MP3 albums, which is rather impressive. On the other hand, today it is like more like 300 4.7 GB DVD movies, which is really not too much. It seems good that the disk is 2.5", which seems good to stack them in a RAID or other disk array.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

You can bet that if it's new some hacker has already virus tied to it."Mine worked for about a week"---

manwethegreat
manwethegreat

Balthor, we're talking about hardware, not software here. Though yes, all that extra storage may well provide plenty of places for malware to hide in.

dryflies
dryflies

Robert X Cringely, the infoworld columnist was touting a new drive that would be coming out "in a year" that was supposed to revolutionize storage. Has anyone heard any updates on it?

catseverywhere
catseverywhere

I have two general categories of computer usage, personal vs business use. The personal is spread over 5 machines and probably totals a terabyte of information. (I haven't lost any data in near 10 years now) But the business use can and does fit in 4-5 GB! This is a Slax install on a laptop I use for security audits and pumping data around, like off of windows machines that won't start.. At the moment I'm on a Slax live CD running off a 4GB USB stick. It's only 45% full, plenty of room. For large data sets I have a couple of USB external HDs. 40 and 80 GB, which since the data on them is temporary, backups for reinstalls, migrating to newer hardware etc, these capacities (so far) have been more than enough. But I agree with the prior comment; what the heck am I going to do when someone comes in with their 1.2 TB drive full of movies and games and needs it backed up? The time will arrive, most people jump on the "gee whiz" of the day, I can see I'll probably have to spring for something like this myself one day...

mbgermann
mbgermann

I would rather have a 100Gb SATA Flash drive. Yes I need space, but I use vmware with multiple vms a lot and would rather increase the speed of the drive.

szovegek
szovegek

edited Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

linuxkg100
linuxkg100

I think the question should be... How many applications can a person use, on that 1.2TB... dang can you imagine what gamers would load? if you say games, games and more games, then again... wow that's alot of space. :)

dawgit
dawgit

Now why would anyone NEED that much data walking around waiting to get stolen / lost? The technology is supper, no question. And there is always going to be a need for more storage space. But Please not for waddle'n 'round with. ;\ -d

paulmah
paulmah

Do share with us how much disk capacity do you personally use, and on what.

Rumblebuffin
Rumblebuffin

My new HP Notebook has 2 2.5" SATA drives, totaling 280GB of disk space. At the same time I bought it, I bought my wife an identical notebook with 120GB of disk space, and an external drive for backups with 500GB. That's close to a Terabyte right there, to go with the 260GB of online storage I already have on my home network. So total online at home now is about 1.2 TB. (On top of that the notebook is able to allocate something like 780MB of video memory - amazing! I bought the first 8MB video card sold by ATI in Dallas a little over a decade ago... Waited in line a long time and paid dearly for that little All-In-Wonder predecessor.) It is my personal belief that the ubiquitous and inexpensive availability of massive amounts of storage space is what drives the IT industry to such rapid change, as it makes possible the sweeping generalization of code libraries and the terribly wasteful forms of code development we currently employ. My Commodore Amiga had a great windowing operating system that took up less than 512k of memory. My new Vista OS and the crapware on the machine I just bought took up GBs of space, most of it completely wasted bloat. However that bloat does allow for the piggybacking and leapfrogging we experience, good (innovation, things like DVRs) or bad (poor security, waste, inefficiency, and on and on.) As an IT Auditor it guarantees me plenty of work! As a consumer it guarantees I keep inserting my pennies in the behemoths banks every few months. I do look forward to a backlash some day towards efficiency and performance, but it won't happen until Microsoft has a competitor that is actually outpacing them, particularly with the application developers. My bet is that VMWare had the best line on that possibility, but that's another discussion. (That's also why MS has made its virtual environment free and is investing so heavily in the virtualization space...)

miamibig
miamibig

My desktop has 1.55TB My laptop has 200GB I use both for business (I am a CPA) and for my hobby as a genealogist. I store a lot of pictures and narratives in many formats so I end up with lots of programs to handle everything.

Tony Richards
Tony Richards

If you do audio/video editing, and/or have servers (especially blades), you need the capability ASAP

mjrunion
mjrunion

The user community will always find a way of filling a drive to the brim and then wonder why they have run out of space. I find that the abundance of space not only puts a dramatic strain on any backup solution that is in place but also encourages the development of bloatware. Why worry about a few Meg here and there when you have a GB to put it in... or now what is a couple of GB when you have a TB to fill. A better direction for the media producers to go would be to improve RELIABILITY and speed of the drives rather than just pressing sectors closer and closer together or going to as yet unproven vertical bit or holo data storage just to squeeze a few more TB from the media size. Anyone else seen a lot of the new large SATA drives experencing early failure? we are averaging about 12% failure with in the first year. Before you get brand bashing these were both WD and Segate/Maxtor

Andy Goss
Andy Goss

Since my first PC, which had an unusually large 30 MB drive, I have gone through 120 MB, 1.4 GB, 20 GB to 80 GB, and I have never got anywhere near filling any of them, except when I installed what was then Mandrake Linux on the 1.4 GB, which let very little room to breathe. I put this down to not storing huge video, sound or graphics files. Most of the used space is occupied by OS and software, data from my machine and my wife's archives easily onto a DVD.

steven.alker
steven.alker

The back-up question apart, I wonder just how the operating system will cope with all the applications which will inevitably be loaded. The current registry system will be struggling to mange them all! And what about finding the data that an application requires? Fine if it consists of a few hundred Gb files, but what if it is thousands or millions of Mb and Kb files? The disk will need a new form of indexing if it?s going to work at anything like an acceptable speed.

detuket
detuket

In Africa, people dump a lot of rubish to their Hard drive so may find this could be a very good alternative and chepaer than teaching and raisiong the knowledge base

NetSec
NetSec

I keep archive ISO images all all my software and DVD's (Currently on 500 gig portable HD) and with the graphics work I do, I can easly chew up 3 or 4 TB then keeping image backups... well Yeah. No problem. Though if they are going to go to TB hard drives in Laptops (or even Desktops, for that matter) then the portables better keep pace because the cost of backups will become astronimcal.

mtodorov3_69
mtodorov3_69

How do you estimate time required to backup a 1.2 TB drive? My estimation of theoretical minimum is 3200 seconds, or 54 minutes, using dedicated 3 Gb/s SATA. This is just raw transfer, without seek times. On a heavily fragmented disk time could be twice the number, 2 hrs. It is becoming an issue IMHO.

Eternal
Eternal

Well the wife just got a new Dell XPS 1710 with a 200GB 7200RPM drive, I gave her a 500GB SATAII 7200RPM drive in an usb shell for all her ISO's. Me I have a 80GB drive on my laptop, and a 2.7TB file server at home to back up my laptop too and to keep all the files I don't need on a day to day basis.

jeff
jeff

just HOW do you think that they're going to backup all that?? unless they come up with something as faster than the current read/write speeds, you won't be able to back it up at all....

norm
norm

you mean I have to back it up???? Just kidding.....

norm
norm

I do a lot of Architectural Support for many differant drafting programs...and also many versions so I need tons of space. I have 1 program that takes up around 3.5 Gig and with the 20 or 30 programs that I have it dosent take time to fill up my drive. I also have a ton of instructions videos that I have which takes up about 50 gig..... I just purchased a 500gig drive ext drive and I am sure will have it filled in a while.... I also need all these programs on my laptop because I travel and lot and I also need to test on a system that is not hooked to our network.....Yes I want 1.2TB laptop.....

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