Monday, November 27, 2006

Parallel I/O powers hard drive concept

In a sort of back-to-the-future proposal, engineers at ECC Technologies are shopping a new concept for hard disk drives based on parallel I/O that could be a substitute for RAID arrays.

So-called parallel-transfer Hard Disk Drives (pHDDs) would contain multiple, single platter head disk assemblies with one or two read-write heads per platter. They would operate in parallel, speeding up I/O and eliminating the need for separate RAID arrays. The Web site TechWorld has posted a summary of a white paper on the concept. The full paper is available to those who go through a free registration process.

ECC Technologies'agenda here is that it owns US Patent Number 5,754,563 that it claims is key to making such drives. It even makes an open solicitation to drive giant Seagate to buy the company to get a lock on the concept. I'd love to hear any comment from HDD engineers on this product idea, so please post away. –rbm

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