Can we build the unfillable disk drive?

Can we build the unfillable disk drive?

Summary: The disk guys are going to try.This year's Diskcon proves the storage device industry's ambitions are as lofty as ever.

TOPICS: Hardware, Storage

The disk guys are going to try. This year's Diskcon proves the storage device industry's ambitions are as lofty as ever. The engineers are working on really large disk drives. Would a 10 TB - 10 million megabytes - 2.5" notebook drive hold you?

Don't look for it any time soon. But the engineers are confident that when the time comes they will be able to build it. Stay tuned to Storage Bits for more on the disk technology road map.

Content + home bandwidth = storage demand But who is going to need all that capacity? No one. But make it cheap enough, and give people enough HD video and bandwidth to the home and the desire will follow. That's the theory, anyway.

How will you ever fill it up? No one wants to build products people won't buy. Thus a large part of the DiskCon presentations concerned disk applications.

Video is the new photo Music is good - 700 MB an hour - uncompressed. Photos will be good once the basic consumer point and shoot is producing 25 MB files. But video is the promised land.

1 hour of compressed HD video = 10 GB Soccer moms will give ESPN competition. Why should big-time sports have all the instant replays, highlight reels and scouting videos? Jennifer's highlight reel for the 2011 season will be treasured for years.

Get ready for a generation of kids who grow up watching themselves on the big screen.

Once HD camcorders are $500 that's what most people will buy. Hollywood is working on 4k x 4k resolution as we speak, which Moore's Law will make surprisingly affordable, surprisingly fast.

And the disk industry will breathe a sigh of relief.

The Storage Bits take My first computer used - don't laugh - an audio cassette recorder for mass storage because I couldn't afford an $800 144 KB floppy drive (I still can't).

My first hard drive was 30 MB, and I couldn't believe I'd ever fill it up.

Now I'm sitting next to 1 TB of disk storage, completely confident that not only will I fill it up, but I will shortly need more. Good thing I have 2 empty drive bays.

I do think that certain form factors in some applications, like ultra-light notebooks for road-warriors, will reach an equilibrium. But for consumers . . . . Well, why do they call us consumers?

Comments welcome, or course. If you don't think video will be the killer app for storage, what, if anything, will be?

Topics: Hardware, Storage

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  • Of course, if they do....

    ...backing it up will be a bitch!
  • Yes. One already exists, its called a WOM

    Write Only Memories are excellent for infinite storage. The issue is that you can't retrieve the data.
    • Isn't Hawking revising that one?

      Or is it not black holes you're on about? :p
  • Can you build a drive so large

    that God himself could not fill it?

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: No, the desire to keep all of one's media live and at their fingertips will constantly push the need for more and more drive space. Like you, I sit next to a terabyte-plus of drive space and I feel the constraints with that much space at my command. All in all, it depends on the person and what they do with their systems. Some need a few gigs, others new a few terabytes. One day it will be petabytes...
  • "Would a 10 TB - 10 million megabytes - 2.5??? notebook drive hold you?"

    Don't know, but if it were much denser I might get caught by the gravity well :o
    • Ah yes

      Black hole storage... there's your answer.
  • We need multi-platter speed, not more space...

    Building a drive that would hold the National Archives would be niffty, but having to access it at current interface-to-platter speeds would make it useless. While they have improved the motherboard-to-interface speeds again and again, nothing has been done to improve the storage and retrieval process.