Karbosguide.com - Module 4b3.

Hard disks - areas of developments


The contents:

  • Developments
  • The manufactures
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  • Developments

    Everyone wants faster, cheaper disks with increased capacity. Therefore, hard disk technology undergoes an explosive development. There are several major trends in this development:

  • Data are packed increasingly closer with new coating and read/write techniques.

  • The disks rotate faster and faster.

  • The cache is increased and made more efficient.

  • The interface is updated. The electronic that transports data from the drive to the motherboard has to keep up with the rest of the drive. It is my impression that the various hard disk manufacturers alternately develop new, sophisticated technologies, which spread with the speed of lightning to other brands:

  • In 1995 IBM suddenly introduced lightning fast disks with new MR heads (Magneto-Resistive). Before this, the head technology was called thin film heads. Today almost all vendors use MR heads.

  • In 1997 Quantum introduced the Ultra DMA interface, which all other manufacturers now use as well.

  • In 1998 IBM introduced the GMR heads (Giant Magneto Resistive), which allowed new high density drives.

  • In 1999 we got the new improved Ultra DMA-66 interface, which has the capacity of speeding up the EIDE drives to even better transfer rates. Since 2000 the interface ATA/100 has given even better performance.

  • IBM, Maxtor and Western Digital are the leading manufactures of EIDE harddisks.


    The manufactures

    In 1998 around 150 million harddisks were sold worldwide. They were produced by:

    Vendor Market share
    Quantum 21.7%
    Seagate 20.7%
    Western Digital 16.9%
    Maxtor 15.5%
    IBM 3.9%
    Fujitsu ?


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    Learn more

    Also see Module 4c about optical media (CDROM and DVD).

    Also read about EIDE and UDMA

    And about the most advanced and elegant controller principle of all: SCSI.

    Read module 7a about monitors, and 7b on graphics card.

    Read module 7c about sound cards, and 7d on digital sound and music.

    HD Tach - a fine program to test harddisks.

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