David Kirkpatrick

June 16, 2010

Hard disk storage and nanotechnology

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:50 am

Hard disks made of a nanosphere magnetic recording medium may offer simply stunning amounts of storage space.

From the link:

A new magnetic recording medium made up of tiny nanospheres has been devised by European researchers. The technology may lead to hard disks able to store more than a thousand billion bits of information in a square inch.

With consumer PCs now being sold with hard disks of a  or more – enough to record more than two years of music –  seems to be expanding without limit. But the limits are there and industry insiders know that they are approaching fast.

Also:

A spacing of 25 nanometres between spheres is equivalent to a storage density of one terabit (1000 gigabits) per square inch. Using the same approach with smaller spheres researchers should be able to attain densities up to six times higher.

May 28, 2010

Seagate’s hybrid hard drive

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:16 am

Combines a standard spinning platter drive (HDD) in 250, 320 or 500 gigabyte versions with four gigs of single-level cell (read: robust) Flash memory. Right now these are just about doubling the cost of standard drives with similar capacity.

The result is a combined drive that approaches the performance of solid state drives, but at a fraction of the price. According to Seagate’s own tests, the Momentus XT is 80% faster than a traditional notebook hard drive, and 20% faster than an ultra high-performance 10,000 RPM HDD.

The speed boost is due almost entirely to the drive’s Adaptive Memory algorithm, which learns which applications and files a user accesses most, and dumps those in the 4 GB of flash memory. Flash has 150 times the access speed of a traditional hard drive, but only 2 times the read/write bandwidth.

The technique of balancing a cache of expensive flash memory, which is great at randomly accessing many small files, with a large hard drive, which is many times cheaper per gigabyte and is good at reading and writing large files, mirrors a similar approach currently being explored in the data center.

Seagate’s hybrid drive. Credit: Seagate.

Here are Amazon links to the 250 GB version, the 320 GB version and the 500 GB version of the Seagate Momentus XT.

September 30, 2008

Solid state drive from Super Talent at $2.49 per gig

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:16 pm

Pretty nice price point for the latest in storage tech.

From the link:

Super Talent´s MasterDrive SSDs offer five times better resistance to shock and vibration, consumes less power, supports a wider range of operating temperatures and altitudes, and are completely silent.

Super Talent´s MasterDrive SSDs is backed by a 1-year warranty. The MasterDrive LX is built with NAND flash and uses a SATA-II 3Gbps interface that makes it 100% interchangeable with hard disk drives. These SSDs support sequential read speeds of up to 100 MB/sec, and sequential write speeds of up to 40 MB/sec. Integrated ECC, wear leveling and bad bit management functions dramatically improve the reliability and lifespan of these SSDs.

The FTM64GO25H model is Super Talent´s 64GB 2.5-inch SATA-II SSD with a read/write speed of 100/40 MB/sec and sells for $179. The FTM28GO25H is Super Talent´s 128GB 2.5-inch SATA-II SSD with a read/write speed of 100/40 MB/sec and sells for $299.

July 16, 2008

Long-life Flash memory chips

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:00 pm

Great news in storage tech:

Current Flash chips are estimated to have a useful lifetime of around a decade for most applications.

However, some applications that require repeated writing and rewriting of data can theoretically cause cells to wear out much faster, sometimes rendering a Flash device useless within a few years.

This can happen when a large area of Flash memory is used as a swap file or virtual memory, or to store constantly updated log files.

The continuing miniaturisation of conventional Flash memory chips also threatens to reduce their lifetime.

This and other factors make conventional high-density Flash cells unworkable at circuit sizes below 20 nanometres, the scientists claim.

The new ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cell developed by the Japanese scientists can be scaled down to at least 10 nanometres. The next generation of conventional flash cells will use a 30 nanometre circuit density.

The ferroelectric Flash memory cell can be rewritten more than 100 million times, compared to a conventional cells lifetime of around 10,000, its inventors claim.

To prolong their life Flash memory chips use a ‘wear-levelling’ process in which all cells are used equally, and worn out cells are ‘retired’ without disabling the whole chip.

The ferroelectric cells use a rewriting voltage of fewer than six volts, compared to about 20 volts for conventional chips.

Here’s the citation from KurzweilAI.net:

Japanese boffins develop long-life Flash
vnu.net, July 14, 2008

Flash memory chips with a potential lifetime of hundreds of years and a lower rewriting voltage have been developed by University of Tokyo scientists.

Current Flash chips are estimated to have a useful lifetime of around a decade or less for most applications.

 
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