Feeds

Disk drive industry appoints roadmap reading committee

Tearing along the HAMR road

Remote control for virtualized desktops

In just three months the hard disk drive industry has put flesh on the bones of its Storage Technology Alliance and pretty much decided on HAMR as the way forward, judging by WD and Xyratex pronouncements.

The hard disk drive industry trade body IDEMA (International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association) has set up the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium (ASTC) with founding members Hitachi GST, Marvell, Seagate, Western Digital and Xyratex, for "the formation of collaborative joint research initiatives among and between storage industry participants, customers, suppliers, universities and laboratories to harmonise in a common direction on the future of next generation storage technologies."

In other words, the consortium will decide between heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) or bit-patterned media (BPM) as the main replacement for today's PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology when it runs out of steam around the 1Tbit/in2 level in a few years' time, with the overlapping track-based Shingled Write technology as a potential stopgap. The costs involved in developing a HAMR or BPM technology are so widespread across the industry supply chain that they are too great for any one company to bear.

The StorageTechnology Alliance (STA) was set up inside IDEMA in August by Hitachi GST, Seagate and Western Digital for "the formation of collaborative joint research initiatives among and between storage industry participants, customers, suppliers, universities and laboratories" – which is pretty much the same purpose.

ASTC structure

The latest IDEMA statement makes no mention of the STA but it is blindingly obvious it has morphed into the ASTC and gained members, a structure and a large budget. Idema tells us that the companies above are tier 1 members. Then there are tier 2 and 3 members, which include LSI, Texas Instruments, Fuji Electric, Heraeus, Intevac, KLA-Tencor and Veeco – making 12 founding members in all. Any other Idema member can join.

The ASTC's dashing dozen aim to recruit more members - multi-million dollar budgets have to come from somewhere - from across the global supply chain for the disk drive industry, and, running in parallel, identify specific focus areas and research projects for its first year of operation.

Through an executive council it will create and direct co-operative research endeavours across the entire supply chain. Membership fees are set in a tiered structure based on storage industry revenue. The consortium will also seek financial support from governments and associated laboratories. Technology projects will be identified and funded through a volunteer committee formed by staff from ASTC members.

The ASTC will vastly expand investment in university research projects, focusing its multi-million dollar budget on critical areas of next-generation storage technologies. We don't know where the multi-million dollar budget is going to come from, assuming that it will be the members though. Nor do we know how many millions there are in it and whether it exists as set-aside cash already.

It's possible that members will commit funding in line with their membership tier. What, if any, structured payback there will be for this gift or loan of cash is not known either.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: HAMR or BPM?

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.