back to article Toshiba looks ahead, sees a 14TB disk

Earlier this month Toshiba researchers presented a couple of papers concerning bit-patterned media (BPM) and associated head technologies at a Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Intermag conference in Washington DC. They have been working towards an areal density of 5Tbit/sq in for hard disk drives and this was by way of a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    "areal density"

    *sprays coffee across desk*


    Somebody owes me a new keyboard!

  2. Charles 9 Silver badge

    There's also the matter...

    ...of architectural limitations. Current BIOS-powered PCs can't properly see hard drives beyond 2TB without some significant change, such as changing over to EFI or the like.

  3. Eddie Edwards

    Yes but ...

    With all those extra bits, won't the drive head have to move faster across the disk? :p

  4. Steven Jones


    The problem with this is that capacity goes up according to the areal density whilst sequential read speed only goes up according to the linear density (and random read time hardly at all) unless something can be done about increasing spin speed and seek head movement. The potential in those two elements of performance are very limited.

    The result is that this 7 x increase in capacity will be accompanied by an increase in toptal time to read/write the entire disk by a factor of about 2.6. You could be looking at something approaching 20 hours to do that so rebuilding a RAID set or the like could be a long, long job.

  5. Kebabbert

    Eddie Edwards

    Yes, but bandwidth has not caught up with storage capacity. If you have a raid-5 with 14TB drives, and one drive crashes - how long time will it take to repair the raid? Assume you insert a new 14TB drive. It may take 1-2 weeks before the raid is repaired. During repair, the raid-5 is vulnerable to another crash, because of increased stress on the other drives. Therefore raid-5 does not cut it anymore. You need raid-6 to allow two discs to falter. Or even 3 discs to falter (raidz3)

  6. Albert Gonzalez

    Raid5, 6 or raidz5

    If you need to use > 14TB of space for your data, you best be sure to have it really protected.

    Not just a 'simultaneous 2 disk failure' proofed, 'but fire in the computer room' proofed.

    So yes, a raid 6 + daily remote sync, and a big pipe.

    That is, offsite.

  7. C 2

    Why not...

    I've always thought that for lower performance, where the greatest factor is huge amounts of data storage .. why not use the 5.25inch form factor? Imagine the current areal density with a 5.25 inch platter, or 6 of them!! I could settle for 3600RPM if it means huge amounts of storage.

    We still have optical drives that size, and most computers have the bay(s) to install one.

    Are there any real obstacles to this idea?

    1. Ammaross Danan


      I could see such a large-platter device having power-draw issues. Also, laptops at 2.5" 5400rpm are fairly slow as they stand. Dropping further to 3600rpm and you'll take quite a while to full-copy one... Granted, if all you do is store your DVD/BluRay collection on it, the read-speed won't be such an issue. But for special-purpose use, rather than a "stick one in every computer" mainstream, the price-point might be slightly prohibitive.

  8. James Hughes 1


    That is, in anybody's book, a hell of a lot of porn.

    1. Geoffrey Summerhayes


      just barely enough space to install Windows 8 PE.

  9. J 3

    Sends shivers down my spine...

    ...just to imagine the amount of data lost when one of these babies starts doing the whirring click of death or something.

    Almost makes me have backups, so you know it must be serious.

  10. Stuart Halliday
    Thumb Up

    Finally I can make a real backup..

    Great with 14TB, I'll be able to backup myself at the quantum level and be cloned intact at a future date.

    Gotta be cheaper than freezing my head!

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