August 14, 2006 4:15 PM PDT

Terabyte drive to debut later this year

If there's a storage fanatic in your family, a perfect gift could be coming for her or him toward the end of the year: 1-terabyte hard drives.

Desktop hard drives holding 1 terabyte, or 1,000 gigabytes, of storage will likely be announced in 2006, said Bill Healy, senior vice president of product strategy and marketing at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. These drives, which will have a 3.5-inch diameter, are expected to be incorporated into PCs and home servers. Healy wouldn?t say what companies would announce first. Sources at Seagate, however, said Seagate plans to come out with 1TB 3.5-inch drives by late 2006 or early 2007.

It's not that big of a stretch for some hard drive makers. Hitachi already sells a 500GB drive, while rival Seagate Technology started shipping a 750GB drive to desktop makers in April. Seagate also sells a home storage device with two 500GB drives to make up 1 terabyte. Drive density effectively doubles every two years and increases steadily over the two-year period; hence, a terabyte drive is on the horizon, Healy said.

Granted, few people really need 1 terabyte of storage. But it sounds cool--sort of like you could be running a ballistic missile tracking site in your den. Besides, humans continue to show that they can come up with ways to gobble up hard drive space. High-definition video is expected to greatly expand the need for storage.

These large drives also will get incorporated into televisions and personal video recorders. Hitachi, among others, already sells TVs with integrated hard drives in Japan and other markets.

While large drives start out expensive, the price drops relatively quickly. Computer makers pay something in the 30-cent range for a gigabyte when buying hard drives, Healy said. The price at retail is around 50 cents or less.

Happy birthday, hard drive
On Sept. 13, the hard drive will turn 50. Hitachi and others will be on hand to celebrate the achievement at the Computer History Museum.

It has been a wild half century. The first magnetic drive, the RAMAC created by IBM, weighed a ton and could hold 5MB of data on 50 24-inch circumference platters. Now people can get a one-inch drive that can be held in your hand that holds more than that.

"Twenty years from now, we could (potentially) squeeze a terabyte onto a one-inch drive," Healy said.

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terabyte, Hitachi Ltd., Seagate Technology, hard drive, TV

53 comments

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1,000,000,000,000 bytes?
Are we talking about 1,000,000,000,000 bytes? That translates to 931 GB by my calculations. 70 GB less than advertised! I think this marketing trick has got to stop. Maybe this milestone is a good opportunity.
Posted by kostasvl (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Totally agree with you on this...
That really pisses me off as well! Yes! I know they are talking about bytes but if something is advertised at 1000GB, then you should have 1000GB of usable disk space. My laptop's 60GB drive only has 56GB, my 20GB music player only has 18.6GB

I guess a 931GB drive doesn't sound as attractive as 1000GB, so why not build a 1070GB (or whatever) from the start and label it as a 1TB drive.
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Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
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Actually...
Actually, by my calculations 931 GB is about 93 GB less than a terrabyte since you are considering it to be 1024GB (the whole basis of your arguments). However, I feel the need to note that only Microsoft (and possibly Apple and some other software vendors) consider a kilobyte to be 1024 bytes and such. Mathematically speaking, the hard drive manufacturers are more correct in considering a kilobyte to be exactly 1000 bytes (the argument being that the term kilo is the metric term for 1000 of the base unit, mega 1,000,000, and so on).

Tootles
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Posted by tobart (24 comments )
Link Flag
Kibi Mebi Gibi Bytes
It's been correctly pointed out that Kilo (in Metric) equals 1000. In computer binary math, Kilo meant 1024.

There is a standard now for new prefixes when dealing with binary math prefixes.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mebibyte" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mebibyte</a>

1 byte = 8 bits (this hasn't changed)
1 kibibyte = 1024 bytes
1 mebibyte = 1024 kibibytes
1 gibibyte = 1024 mebibytes

No one uses these terms that I've ever met.
Posted by Richard G. (137 comments )
Link Flag
That's what sucks about computer makers
They used to do things the way it made sense with a computer. Computers use the digits 1 and 0, while we use 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,&#38;9. Well, now that computers are getting faster, they decided to throw out the idea of making things work they way the computer sees numbers, and just make it work a little more to use our number system. Load of bull if you ask me.

There's my 2ยข
Posted by Amazingant (146 comments )
Link Flag
I think it was WD that did this crap!
I recall a story that it was western digital's marketing that got the brainstorm idea of calling a MB 1,000,0000 bytes. This allowed them to clain their HD was 1000MB (decimal), when it was actually 954MB (binary). Since Winbloze uses the correct definition of MB, GB etc (binary), a new 100GB (decimal) drive will appear to a little less than 95GB (binary). Some space is used for formatting.
Posted by ray08 (64 comments )
Link Flag
Actually it's been standard usage for some time
For hard disk drive storage the standard usage has been units of 1,000 not 1,024 since the early 80s. There was some confusion in the late 70s and early 80s when some manufacturers would use factors of 1,024 and others would use 1,000, but since the mid 80s (at the latest) the standard has been factors of 1,000. That's just the way it is.

(This is no different than a pound of gold does not have the same mass as a pound of feathers. Just different accepted uses for the same word.)

Additionally, to clear this up the international standards organizations have adopted a different terminology for the 1,024 factor systems as mentioned elsewhere in this forum. Virtually no one uses it, but it is the official standard.

Complaining about a 1 TB driving having just 10^12 bytes (raw, unformatted) on it is either just silly ranting or just stupid. Take your pick.
Posted by shadowself (202 comments )
Link Flag
The age old discrepency...
I doubt that will ever happen.. to really argue it you have to decide who was right: the Romans, who had a massive empire spanning large areas of the known globe and spread not only their own but to a certain extent Greek influences (also a big player in the roots of prefixes and were together responsible for the idea that kilo means 1000, (from the Greek khiloi, literally meaning.. 1000). Peta coming from 'pente' meaning five (1000 raised to the power of five being it's implied value as a prefix). Exa coming from 'hex' meaning six.. etc. Granted mega ('great'), giga ('giant') and tera ('monster') come from simpler ideas. Somehow I'd much rather say my computer has a 'monster'-byte of memory. Sounds somehow more dominating. Regardless.. you either take the words of the ancient greats...

Or.. you take the word of a couple of dust covered geeks in their natural basement subterranean room who decided that because binary makes it easier to express things in terms of powers of two that kilo may as well refer to '1024' because it's 'close enough'.

Meanwhile the war rages on, with computer people enraged that advertisers would be so 'roman'tic in their definition of their storage space, and the continuing press to deleting the ancient and cultural roots has the Greeks and Romans turning in their proverbial graves. I suppose I'd rule in favour in the modern, after thinking about it, simply because:

A) Computer people tend to live in their own little world, so should have the right to define it however they like.

B) Computer people are often a mysterious and primal people, unspoiled in their natural habitat by things like the culture of other civilizations.

and finally:

C) Comparing the two, using Roman kilobytes vs
using modern kilobytes would mean overall that
computer systems would have far less room for
MP3s, which likely was the leading factor to the
overall decline and fall of their great empire.

Marketing departments should learn from the mistakes of the past, and not doom us all.
Posted by Mmmhmm (103 comments )
Link Flag
1TB is not too big
If you really think about it, the reason why one might think that a terabyte of storage space is a bit much is because much of the data on their drives is compressed.

Take music, for example: I probably wouldn't be that incorrect when I say that most people encode their music in a lossy format, such as MP3, WMA, OGG, etc. Encoding in lossy formats of course results in a loss of quality as compared to the original source, and the quality lowers even further when the file is reencoded or converted to another lossy format.

Now why would anyone want to use lossy formats then? Because that person has a lot of music, and only on average 100GBs or less of space on their hard drive, and even less on their MP3 player!

My history teacher from eleventh grade filled a 400GB hard drive in a matter of months; the only data on that drive other than the OS and a few programs were videos, less than a hundred of them. Why did so few videos take up so much space? Because she needed to encode them losslessly since she did a lot of editing with them and didn't want to lose any of the video quality.

As you can see, if the average computer carried an 80GB drive instead of an 80GB drive, the MP3, as well as almost all forms of lossy formats, would be dead. It would no longer be necessary to shrink a song from a CD from 1411kbps to 192kbps because the difference between, say, 70MB and 7MB would no longer be that great. Man, wouldn't that be a dream come true for audiophiles everywhere.


In conclusion, sure, one terabyte is a milestone, however if computer hard drives aren't the only ones that need to evolve. MP3 players now need to hold a lot more than a pathetic 60GB so that everyone, everywhere, can finally enjoy their music collection anywhere the way it was intended: in full, completely lossless quality. Internet connections also have to jump on the train, because with the need to hole more more data, comes the need to download (and upload!) more data at speeds MUCH faster than 9mbps.
Posted by Psythik (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Er, I made a typo...
...On the first sentence in the fifth paragraph, I meant to say this:

"As you can see, if the average computer carried an 80 TERABYTE drive instead of an 80 GIGABYTE drive".
Posted by Psythik (10 comments )
Link Flag
Apple Lossless
If you have an iPod and iTunes, you can use the Apple Lossless
format to halve the space taken up by uncompressed audio whilst
still enjoying true CD quality sound. Of course, to play ALL your
music on the road like this, an iPod will still need to have capacities
of more than 60GB, but it would stop that terabyte drive filling up
quite so quickly if you want audiophile-quality audio.
Posted by mavlast (10 comments )
Link Flag
The most stupid review I've read
Quote: 'Granted, few people really need 1 terabyte of storage. But it sounds cool--sort of like you could be running a ballistic missile tracking site in your den.' WHAT IS COOL ABOUT THAT - ARE YOU GUYS STUPID OR WHAT!! Sort out your review policies - there is nothing 'cool' about missiles and the death/destruction they cause. Not everyone is pro war.
Posted by smileykindaguy (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good catch...
I would have let it slip, but since you mentioned it...
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Bigger they are...
...the harder they fail!

Actually, I could use one as a shadow drive or Leopard "Time Machine" drive.

Wonder how many days to zero-out or 7-writes format?
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Reply Link Flag
exactly. look for monolithic raid. holographic disk.
the first hard drive i ever saw was 8 ft tall.
double height drives with two sets of heads per trach, and smart raid would make a lot of sense.

and for $50 make it network attached.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Link Flag
stupid review of course 1 terabyte is needed
This is the most stupid review I have read too. Everyone is using their hard drive for mass storage for pictures and videos. Capturing video takes up a lot of space along with mass picture storage. I could use the 1 terabyte within a year.
Posted by markman24 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yep: 1 Hour of HD off air. = 50 Gigs.
i built an off air recorder with HD tuner.

absolutely beautiful. Software can scale to small images, which makes sense. But a full definition 1080I PBS program was 50 Gegabytes.

The movie industry will gobble up the biggest boxes it can find, since movies today are 4K X 2K pixels = 8 MEGAPIXELS PER FRAME times 24 frames per second. (or 60 per second for the dougless trumballs and zekes of the world)

and there can be 20 or thirty versions of various scenes, as each department puts in their layer. the $129 SONY VEGAS software lets users plug in their HDV cams and transfer 25 Mbps data streams. Hard drives will always get fuller and fuller.

That should be called FULLERS LAW.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Link Flag
Stupids, die!
I don't know exactly who makes up the readership of CNET these days, but since none of you guys seem to have an academic background let me offer up a lesson in discourse: if you have a disagreement or point of emphasis to make regarding the story, that doesn't make the story "stupid". This story is well-written and far from "stupid", and the assumption that everybody in the world is filling up their hard drives with video just because you are is a wrong assumption (but not "stupid", as too many of you seem ready to say).

I realize the current generation is picking up its bad rhetorical habits from the type of riffraff who run the country and the media right now, but exercising some verbal self control gives your ideas more power through their dignified gravity...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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Thank You
I signed up for this site for the explicit purpose of saying thank you to Razzl for pointing out the power of proper language use. Few things make me more irate than listening to young people speak these days. I try to correct the younger members of my family whenever possible even though I'm usually ignored or my remarks are forgotten within the hour. I feel better knowing that I am not the only person left in the world that takes pride in my speech and my written word. I am, though, not completely against slang as I use the word "cool" in place of more accurate adjectives for things I like regularly, and other phrases of the sort, but never at the cost of clarity.
Posted by Hksin (2 comments )
Link Flag
Thank You
I signed up for this site for the explicit purpose of saying thank you to Razzl for pointing out the power of proper language use. Few things make me more irate than listening to young people speak these days. I try to correct the younger members of my family whenever possible even though I'm usually ignored or my remarks are forgotten within the hour. I feel better knowing that I am not the only person left in the world that takes pride in my speech and my written word. I am, though, not completely against slang as I use the word "cool" in place of more accurate adjectives for things I like regularly, and other phrases of the sort, but never at the cost of clarity.
Posted by Hksin (2 comments )
Link Flag
chill out spazzhead,
this is just a peaceful collaboration of normal people sharing thier
view on a drollworthy amount of HD space.

why dont you go check your myspace
Posted by olegnep (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i meant smileykindaguy
but yes , i have a ton of home movies that i edit and put on dvds
for my family , to me it just seems like the best way to preserve
good memories.
Posted by olegnep (23 comments )
Link Flag
Why computer sees terabyte diferently
The computer works on the binary system so it only sees 0's and 1's. When memory started working into the thousands of bytes, it was simpler to measure it as a function of a power of 2... 2^10 to be exact which works out to 1024. This was close enough to a thousand so many computer geeks simply refered to it as a kilobyte (which is how the computer refers to it as well). It made sense since the computer needed memory in increments that was binary, or a power of 2. Later we evolved to the megabyte (1024 KB) and GigaByte (1024 MB)to reference computer memory. In all, we are bending the measurement for the sake of simplicity on the computer's sake. Memory makers stick to this type of format because that is how the computer needs it. That's why you see memory sizes jump from 64 to 128 to 256 to 512...

However, when it comes to hard drives, they ARE measured by the base 10 system. When you look at a 1 Terabyte drive and it says it only has 895 Megabytes, keep in mind that the computer is thinking multiples of 1024 instead of 1000. You're not being ripped off, what you see is the difference in how the computer wishes to see it versus our base 10 measurements.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Parkinsons Law, Zeke's Correllary -- Content expands to absorb capacity.
yup
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Parkinsons Law, Zeke's Correllary -- Content expands to absorb capacity.
yup
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about this nightmare?
I sure can't wait to have ALL my data on one 1-terabyte drive.When that baby crashes, look out! Give me several smaller drives and at least I'll have something left if one goes.
Posted by lunaray (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I need 50 GIG DVD-R's..
I need to back up my 200 gig drives .. 50 gigs is pretty good.. but a 4.7 gig current - that's too many discs.

Cheaper to buy a new cheap external 250 gig drive and copy it.
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
What Nightmare?
Managing the data on a Terabyte drive is no different than any other drive it's just bigger.

Remember - Backup, Backup, Backup.

That's the only solution whether it's a 250GB or 1000GB.
Posted by tango_fox1 (82 comments )
Link Flag
RAMAC bigger than that
24-inch *diameter*, not circumference;
circumference would be &gt; 75-inch.
Posted by pickniter (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yay
something for all the video. I'm still trying to capture mine and my wifes home videos from when we were kids and I've already eaten 500 Gigs in uncompressed video. You need a terabyte to even start with high-def stuff as for documents and personal files well hopefully something in the less volatile flash memory will fill that arena.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about Petabytes and Beyond ?
Petabyte = ~ 1,000 Terabytes.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://colossalstorage.net" target="_newWindow">http://colossalstorage.net</a>
Posted by grey_eminence (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Petabytes and beyond
They may have that technology now but they won't come out with it yet since it won't be profitable plus the fact that people won't be ready for it yet except maybe a few..

Just like speed of CPUs...you hear that they have reached speeds of 10Ghz but it won't come out yet because they could sell computers with 4GHz, 4.5 GHz, 5 GHz, 5.33GHz...etc..

If they sold computers at that speed, everyone would get it and there would no other computers to sell since it may take a long time to make a faster computer...
Posted by (7 comments )
Link Flag
we'll figure out how to max out a terabyte drive!
It's easy to fill a drive up if you download a lot. Having cable or dsl helps out, too! I have a DVD burner, and i don't archive my downloads in a timely manner. Then, before i know it, i'm frantic! I can't save anything! I have no HDD space left! I have yet to buy a HDD larger than 80gb, but so what? There are people out there with 250gb, or 500gb, and STILL max it out. Like the article said, the High Defintion videos that will be coming someday WILL eat up our HDD space like pacman gobbles up ghosts!

Talking about petabyte drives is a waste of time at this point, but later, in the next 10 or 20 years, we will see them. In our PC's, and in the next generation ipods, too!
Posted by snafoo1 (2 comments )
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