History of hard disk drives

The commercial usage of hard disk drives began in 1956 with the shipment of an IBM 305 RAMAC system including IBM Model 350 disk storage [ [http://www.magneticdiskheritagecenter.org/MDHC/MILESTONE/Emerson%20Pugh%20talk.pdf Ramac History May2005 ] ] .

For many years, hard disk drives were large, cumbersome devices, more suited to use in the protected environment of a data center or large office than in a harsh industrial environment (due to their delicacy), or small office or home (due to their size and power consumption). Before the early 1980s, most hard disk drives had 8-inch (actually, 210 - 195 mm) or 14-inch platters, required an equipment rack or a large amount of floor space (especially the large removable-media drives, which were frequently comparable in size to washing machines), and in many cases needed high-current and/or three-phase power hookups due to the large motors they used. Because of this, hard disk drives were not commonly used with microcomputers until after 1980, when Seagate Technology introduced the ST-506, the first 5.25-inch hard drives, with a formatted capacity of 5 megabytes.

The capacity of hard drives has grown exponentially over time. With early personal computers, a drive with a 20 megabyte capacity was considered large. During the mid to late 1990s, when PCs were capable of storing not just text files and documents but pictures, music, and video, internal drives were made with 8 to 20 GB capacities. As of mid 2008, desktop hard disk drives typically have a capacity of 500 to 750 gigabytes, while the largest-capacity drives are 1.5 terabytes.

1950s - 1970s

The IBM 350 Disk File, invented by Reynold Johnson, was introduced in 1956 with the IBM 305 RAMAC computer. This drive had fifty 24 inch platters, with a total capacity of five million characters. A single head assembly having two heads was used for access to all the platters, making the average access time very slow (just under 1 second).

The IBM 1301 Disk Storage Unit [ [http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_1301.html IBM Archives: IBM 1301 disk storage unit ] ] , announced in 1961, introduced the usage of a head for each data surface with the heads having self acting air bearings (flying heads).

The first disk drive to use removable media was the IBM 1311 drive, which used the IBM 1316 disk pack to store two million characters.

In 1973, IBM introduced the IBM 3340 "Winchester" disk drive, the first significant commercial use of low mass and low load heads with lubricated media. All modern disk drives now use this technology and/or derivatives thereof. Project head designer/lead designer Kenneth Haughton named it after the Winchester 30-30 rifle after the developers called it the "30-30" because of it was planned to have two 30 MB spindles; however, the actual product shipped with two spindles for data modules of either 35 MB or 70 MB [ [http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3340.html IBM Archives: IBM 3340 direct access storage facility ] ] .

1980s - PC era

Internal drives became the system of choice on PCs in the 1980s. Most microcomputer hard disk drives in the early 1980s were not sold under their manufacturer's names, but by OEMs as part of larger peripherals (such as the Corvus Disk System and the Apple ProFile). The IBM PC/XT had an internal hard disk drive, however, and this started a trend toward buying "bare" drives (often by mail order) and installing them directly into a system.

External hard drives remained popular for much longer on the Apple Macintosh and other platforms. Every Mac made between 1986 and 1998 has a SCSI port on the back, making external expansion easy; also, "toaster" Compact Macs did not have easily accessible hard drive bays (or, in the case of the Mac Plus, any hard drive bay at all), so on those models, external SCSI disks were the only reasonable option.


1950s thru 1990s

see: Five Decades Of Disk Drive Industry Firsts [ [http://www.disktrend.com/5decades2.htm Five decades of disk drive industry firsts ] ] maintained by Disk/Trend an HDD industry marketing consultancy.

1980s to present day

* 1980 - The world's first gigabyte-capacity disk drive, the IBM 3380, was the size of a refrigerator, weighed 550 pounds (about 250 kg), and had a price tag of $40,000.
* 1986 - Standardization of SCSI
* 1989 - Jimmy Zhu and H. Neal Bertram from UCSD proposed exchange decoupled granular microstructure for thin film disk storage media, still used today.
* 1991 - 2.5-inch 100 megabyte hard drive
* 1991 - PRML Technology (Digital Read Channel with 'Partial Response Maximum Likelihood' algorithm)
* 1992 - first 1.3-inch hard disk drive - HP C3013A
* 1994 - IBM introduces Laser Textured Landing Zones (LZT)
* 1996 - IBM introduces GMR (Giant MR) Technology for read sensors
* 1998 - UltraDMA/33 and ATAPI standardized
* 1999 - IBM releases the Microdrive in 170 MB and 340 MB capacities
* 2002 - 137 GB addressing space barrier broken
* 2003 - Serial ATA introduced
* 2005 - First 500 GB hard drive shipping (Hitachi GST)
* 2005 - Serial ATA 3G standardized
* 2005 - Seagate introduces Tunnel MagnetoResistive Read Sensor (TMR) and Thermal Spacing Control
* 2005 - Introduction of faster SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)
* 2005 - Perpendicular recording introduced in consumer HDDs (Toshiba)
* 2006 - First 750 GB hard drive (Seagate)
* 2006 - First 200 GB 2.5" hard drive utilizing Perpendicular recording (Toshiba)
* 2006 - Fujitsu develops heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) that could one day achieve one terabit per square inch densities. [ [http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/11/30/fujitsu_head_element_terabit_recording/New Fujitsu optical head promises terabit per square inch recording] ]
* 2007 - Hitachi GST introduces 1 terabyte hard drive [ [http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,128400-page,1/article.html Hitachi introduces 1-Terabyte Hard Drive] ]
* 2008 - Seagate announced the first 1.5 terabyte hard drive [ [http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=null&vgnextoid=19549a9dafc0b110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD Seagate Powers Next Generation Of Computing With Three New Hard Drives, Including World's First 1.5-Terabyte Desktop PC And Half-Terabyte Notebook PC Hard Drives] ]

See also

* List of defunct hard disk manufacturers


External links

* [http://th99.80x86.ru Jumper settings for Hard Disk]
* [http://www.littletechshoppe.com/ns1625/winchest.html HDD Cost History.]

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