HDD to Morph Into ‘HRD’ to Beat SSD

Rectangles appear to be the way for...

SSDs may only be getting faster and more exciting with the recent announcement of the Samsung mini card but HDDs look set to do some shape changing of their own to get back in the game…

The ‘Hard Rectangular Drive’ (HRD) could well be the solution to fight back against the huge read/write and power advantages of the SSD. Created by Cambridge company DataSlide, it makes one fundamental change to existing hard drives: it doesn’t spin.

In DataSlides own words: its patented “piezoelectric actuator system oscillates rectangular media along one axis between a fixed array of millions of read/write heads on a single substrate of low expansion glass. In the first generation, any 64 of these heads may be active in reads and writes at the same time.”

The result is a drive capable of achieving 160,000 IOPS and 500MB per second transfer rates while also consuming just 4W, that’s roughly one third the power of a 15,000RPM HDD and half that of a typical SSD.

The usual caveat in all this is that the HRD is fairly early into its development and DataSlide is still speaking with potential investors. It needs to be fast however as the exponential expansion of SSDs, combined with their continual performance gains and ever dropping prices could otherwise have the HRD beaten before it gets out the door…


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