Disk, Tape and Flash Density

By Henry Newman

I recently read an interesting paper on expected densities of various technologies.

The paper looks at areal density growth and the potential for growth over the next few years. Contrary to what many vendors will tell you, it is clear from the paper that only tape has the potential to continue on the growth curve that it has been on. The HDD and NAND growth rate of areal density will likely drop to 20 percent per year. Areal density translates into device density. The points in the article are some of the points I have made in the past, but this is a detailed scientific study of the underlying issues and technologies that translate into areal density from materials to head design.

Sadly, the paper, and its ideas, have not gotten the press that is should have. Is this because some of the storage vendors do not want you to hear about it (and, yes, I believe that some conspiracy theories really are not theories but facts)? Or is it that the computer trade press does not want to get down and dirty with complex technological facts? Or is there some other reason? I am not sure that the computer press covers issues that go against the grain of marketing dollars. I am lucky very lucky that I am allowed to address controversial topics without fear of editorial reprisal. I am not so sure others are as lucky.

To end this entry, please repeat after me, "Disk and tape are not dead, disk and tape are not dead. Flash will not replace disk and tape."

This article was originally published on October 13, 2011