HRD (hard rectangular drive) An SSD Killer?

Posted June 29th, 2009 at 4:04 AM by Swansen

I’ll spare your the technical jargon, but this is a very interesting idea indeed. Simply put, the platters are plates that oscillate on heads which are built in. There are thousands of heads on the surface, each made of a semiconductor material — nano tech diamond sheet — and any one of them can read or write independently. Also realize that the movement involved is minuscule. An easy way to envision this in contrast to standard hard disk drives is that instead of large circles which each have a head, think of it as many, many tiny squares which each have their own head.

The target for this new technology is a bit of an in-between market. While HRD’s will reportedly be cheaper than an SSD, though arguably not quite as good, they are theoretically much better than a typical HDD. HRD reportedly achieves higher data rates than that of some SSDs, but uses a little more power in the process. Additionally, it is supposed to have as good or better reliability than a regular HDD. Contrast this with SSDs, which have a given number of read/writes after which the drive is useless. Another fundamental advantage HRDs have over HDDs is that sectors are arranged in rows and columns rather than being forced to make them fit on a circle.


In this writer’s opinion — very cool. Regardless if it will actually trump or compete with SSDs it is very, very cool. However, one has to contemplate that there is no such thing as a friction free material. While diamond sheet would do VERY well, it’s still not free of the constraints of physics. Even if we understand that the movements are very tiny, it’s assumed there would still be some noise and/or sensation of vibration. Would it buzz? Hum? Yell obscenities? Time will tell.

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