An introduction to Hard Drive Technologies

Course objectives.

In this course we'll be discussing a number of technologies, we will break it down onto three categories:


A little history

1956: One of the first commercial hard drives were the IBM 350 (seen partially disassembled here to the right). It could store a whopping 3.75 megabyte of data.

1979: Seagate introduces the ST-506 drive and interface, which is then used in all early microcomputer implementations.

1980: Seagate releases the first 5.25-inch hard disk.

1985: Control Data, Compaq Computer, and Western Digital collaborate to develop the 40-pin IDE interface. IDE stands for Intelligent Drive Electronics, more commonly known as Integrated Drive Electronics

1992: Seagate is first to market with a 7200-revolutions-per-minute hard drive, the 2.1GB Barracuda.

2002: Seagate scores another first with the Barracuda ATA V Serial ATA hard drive.

Today: The SSDs are more common than ever, nearly every system has one. They come in many shapes.

Storage Technology

Magnetic storage

The traditional Hard Drive

Magnetic storage or magnetic recording is the storage of data on a magnetised medium. Magnetic storage uses different patterns of magnetisation in a magnetisable material to store data and is a form of non-volatile memory. The information is accessed using one or more read/write heads.

As of 2017, magnetic storage media, primarily hard disks, are widely used to store computer data as well as audio and video signals. In the field of computing, the term magnetic storage is preferred and in the field of audio and video production, the term magnetic recording is more commonly used. The distinction is less technical and more a matter of preference. Other examples of magnetic storage media include floppy disks, magnetic recording tape, and magnetic stripes on credit cards.

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