Toshiba storage breakthrough could bring 10TB HDDs

By on August 18, 2010, 3:24 PM
Toshiba has announced a storage breakthrough that it will demonstrate today at a conference in San Diego. By using a technique called bit-pattern recording, the prototype to be shown boasts an areal density of 2.5Tb per square inch. That's about five times more than the company's existing products, meaning three-platter 10TB hard drives are entirely plausible, and Toshiba is working on doubling that density to 5Tb per square inch -- just when we thought HDDs were on their way out.


Today's drives have a uniform magnetic coating that makes up the recording surface and each bit of data is stored in hundreds of grains across the disk. Bit-pattern media is more efficient. It breaks that recording surface up into numerous magnetic "bits" consisting of a few magnetic grains. Each "bit" holds one bit of data and they are organized into rows. The gaps between those rows act as markers, allowing data to be located quickly. Toshiba expects the technology to appear in hard drives as early as 2013.




User Comments: 36

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LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Wow! This just made me clench up a bit when I read it. This actually has me excited - too bad we won't see it before 2013.

Chazz said:

This + a 400GB affordable SSD would be all I could ever ask for, storage wise.

Guest said:

Correct me if I am wrong but wont they have to replace BIOS (32bit) to run drives much bigger than 2 gig .

Cueto_99 said:

I bet before 2013 they'll find a way to solve the 32-bit issue, I guess after this achivement that problem is just a piece of cake...

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I wonder what the defrag/Virus scan protocol for a couple of 10 TB drives would be? right now its rather lengthy for the 2TB i have now......not to be a downer or anything.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

LOL....these guys are going to put themselves out of business. It's kind of like inventing a tire that will go 250,000 miles before you need to replace it.

Leeky Leeky said:

I wonder what the defrag/Virus scan protocol for a couple of 10 TB drives would be? right now its rather lengthy for the 2TB i have now......not to be a downer or anything.

It would be one of those, set it to run defrag then jet off for a suntan for 2 weeks affairs I think.... pmsl.

Seriously though, 10TB... Thats mad! I've found the bigger I've done for HDD's, the more junk I collect. lol.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

You guys keep typing GB - this is TB we're talking about!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

It would be one of those, set it to run defrag then jet off for a suntan for 2 weeks affairs I think.... pmsl.

I think so yes!

Seriously though, 10TB... Thats mad! I've found the bigger I've done for HDD's, the more junk I collect. lol.

I think that falls under The old adage "any job will immediately expand to fill the time afforded "

LOL....these guys are going to put themselves out of business. It's kind of like inventing a tire that will go 250,000 miles before you need to replace it.

yes, 10TB and a six year warranty.....you can hear the Toshiba pink slips being written.

You guys keep typing GB - this is TB we're talking about!

EDIT ********I would like to point out that 3 of the 4 I typed I had as TB ...okay LNC, Fixed******

Leeky Leeky said:

You guys keep typing GB - this is TB we're talking about!

Corrected.

It makes you wonder how big filesizes will be in years to come.

10TB would be monumental for a HTPC.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

LOL....these guys are going to put themselves out of business. It's kind of like inventing a tire that will go 250,000 miles before you need to replace it.

Of course there is the point to be made of the massive initial demand from datacenters and businesses to upgrade for better [insert type] efficiency and more storage that might offset the lower turnaround rate. Also, as businesses and information increasingly becomes digital, there will always be the need for more space. If magnetic platter HDDs stay competitive with SSDs in price and relative capacity and performance, it'll keep them around that much longer (and hopefully forcing SSD's price point farther down).

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

If magnetic platter HDDs stay competitive with SSDs in price and relative capacity and performance, it'll keep them around that much longer (and hopefully forcing SSD's price point farther down).

That's a good point, but I don't see how they possibly can remain viable if only from a maintenance and reliability standpoint.

Leeky Leeky said:

That's a good point, but I don't see how they possibly can remain viable if only from a maintenance and reliability standpoint.

SSD's aren't long term tested though are they?

Only time will tell how they turn out, but I have say I regret purchasing mine when I could have had 3 Velociraptor's with change to spare.

g4mer said:

Of course there is the point to be made of the massive initial demand from datacenters and businesses to upgrade for better [insert type] efficiency and more storage that might offset the lower turnaround rate. Also, as businesses and information increasingly becomes digital, there will always be the need for more space. If magnetic platter HDDs stay competitive with SSDs in price and relative capacity and performance, it'll keep them around that much longer (and hopefully forcing SSD's price point farther down).

That's what i say.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

SSD's aren't long term tested though are they?

well put in practice no, they obviously cant be, but, they have been tested for a read/write longevity and it is on the average they will long outlast HDD's. SSD's have something HDD's do not, wear leveling. (and being solid state as opposed to mechanical) They do not write to the same cells over and over. so a 100,000 R/W SSD will be difficult to wear out. The controller will tank first. I guess we will see. But when was the last time a stick of memory 'wore out' on you, I mean the the actual module, not something else taking it out like bad power delivery, the controller going boots up, a bad MB,or OC'ing the begeesus out of it

Leeky Leeky said:

@Red.

True, sorry I should have been clearer and stated in real conditions, but you worked that out anyway.

Time will tell, I must admit I prefer them to SATA hard discs using conventional mechanical technology, but I've only ever used 5400/7200rpm drives so can't really personally compare them to anything else.

Its just a shame they're so much money right now really.

In an ideal world I think I'd prefer having higher capacity SSD's for storage needs, if only for the performance enhancements.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

@Red.

True, sorry I should have been clearer and stated in real conditions, but you worked that out anyway.

Time will tell, I must admit I prefer them to SATA hard discs using conventional mechanical technology, but I've only ever used 5400/7200rpm drives so can't really personally compare them to anything else.

Its just a shame they're so much money right now really.

They have been un-traditionally slow to come down in price, I don't know if people are not trusting them or why they have not followed the path of most other components.

Leeky Leeky said:

I'd actually be interested to see the percentages of sales to OEMs vs. individual sales vs. commerical (servers etc) sales.

I could be totally wrong about this, but I get the impression quite a few are shifted with OEM systems these days - But like everyone has come to realise, you have to pay pretty decent money to get the true advantages of the SSD write/read speeds.

Guest said:

the larger the better

I think the new technology affects the capacity not the longevity of the drive

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

the larger the better

I think the new technology affects the capacity not the longevity of the drive

what we were discussing was not the new tech effecting the longevity of the HDD's, but SDD's VS HDD's longevity as it is.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

the larger the better

I think the new technology affects the capacity not the longevity of the drive

Do you see where this line of thought could get you into trouble? You would likely need more time to fill a drive of this capacity, yet if if can't be expected to have a longer service life......, a failure becomes a manifold disaster, compared to a piddling, oh say, 1TB drive.

Um, I know it's corny, but as they say, (or said in my day), "the bigger they are, the harder they fall". Sorta like Blu-Ray, you save time and trouble by only having to lose 1 disc, instead of going to the trouble of losing 10 DVDs.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Do you see where this line of thought could get you into trouble? You would likely need more time to fill a drive of this capacity, yet if if can't be expected to have a longer service life......, a failure becomes a manifold disaster, compared to a piddling, oh say, 1TB drive.

Um, I know it's corny, but as they say, (or said in my day), "the bigger they are, the harder they fall". Sorta like Blu-Ray, you save time and trouble by only having to lose 1 disc, instead of going to the trouble of losing 10 DVDs.

Leave it to you to find a new perspective, but that's a good one. I 'compute quite a lot, but I think it would take me 4 years to fill a 10TB HDD, and if I didn't, and as HDD's do not have 'wear leveling', as SSD's do, unless the thing had a 10yr warranty it would be useless. This may be only good for server environments or making 1 and 2TB drives 1 platter. Did that make sense? Vicodin is amazing.....I want to be a skyscraper.....now I am....WOW! what a view!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Is This real I said? I pinched myself to find out, nope didn't feel that either...

Vicodin is amazing.....I want to be a skyscraper.....now I am....WOW! what a view!
Indeed, just ask Michael Jackson. If I might be so bold, (how's that for deadpan), I suggest putting a brick in each back pocket, then enjoying the head "rush" at ground level.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Indeed, just ask Michael Jackson. If I might be so bold, (how's that for deadpan), I suggest putting a brick in each back pocket, then enjoying the head "rush" at ground level.

ROFL, I guess my broken ribs warranted it. (wheres the smiley with dilated pupils?)

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

ROFL, I guess my broken ribs warranted it. (wheres the smiley with dilated pupils?)
If it had dilated pupils, coupled with a flat affect, would it still in fact, be a "smiley"? More like a "stoney". You'da Hafta put a paperclip up its but to hold it on the page.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

If it had dilated pupils, coupled with a flat affect, would it still in fact, be a "smiley"? More like a "stoney". You'da Hafta put a paperclip up its but to hold it on the page.

Smiley's have butt's?....whoa ...your blowin my mind man

Richy2k9 said:

hello...

that's interesting, mostly for a near future. still there's still room for improvement & maybe next year the'll announce a 100 TB Hard-disk for 2012 this time, but somehow the future of mass storage will be in non-mechanical drives for the higher the capacity the more heat will be generated & will be less reliable for long term investment.

cheers!

Guest said:

Maybe thats y there waiting till 2013 so it doesnt effect the sales of there hardrives now, and they will decide if to release it then if the market needs it. by 2013 games could take up twice as much space.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

That's a lot of space. Imagine running four of those in a RAID 10 array; you'd get 20 TB of storage!

bandit8623 said:

10 TB is alot of data to lose. would want a good backup strategy.

Leeky Leeky said:

10 TB is alot of data to lose. would want a good backup strategy.

Thats bloody true!

I struggle with my 1TB drive, I'd sodding hate to be worrying about the trash I'd end up with on a 10TB version. haha.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

How much RAM and storage would you need to build a teleporter....? Beam me up, Lieutenant Toshiba.......

Guest said:

Very impressive and that was the kind of storage density I was expecting to see.

I now wonder what sort of cache size this drive will have, 128mb, 256mb or 512mb.

Guest said:

I remember getting the first IBM PCs with 10MB HDs, and thinking "we'll never fill up even one of them." The OS was just raw DOS and the only color was green. What we've learned since then is that its not just "work," but programming that expands to fit the space allotted to it. Microsoft pioneered the "code it now, fix it later" paradigm, O/S and applications just ballooned out of control as efficiency concerns evaporated. The Toshiba breakthrough virtually eliminates physical OS & App constraints and concerns, as long as the RAM and processor speed is there to manage it. A commercially viable 10Tb HDD in a laptop means thinking a different way. For example, at least half the reasons for defragging go away with that kind of available space. The Dell XPS I bought 5 years ago is practically a paperweight right now, maxed out at 120Gb HD. This new HDD technology will turn virtually every PC on the market into a doorstop as the application updates go Godzilla, and no PCs can handle those drive sizes. And, why would anyone need a 10Tb drive anyway with The Cloud hanging over us...including businesses? My bet is that the new technology will be applied primarily to eliminating the need for hard drives in PCs, with SaaS, apps and data residing mostly in the cloud. Maybe a few of us will hang on to a local NAS for the sake of having a false sense of security.

ruzveh said:

What made this news appear now? This is indeed pretty old news..

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

What made this news appear now? This is indeed pretty old news..
Well you did, sweet prince, remarkable grasp of the obvious notwithstanding.

And may flights of angels sing it to its rest......

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