Hardware

Toshiba's hard drive breakthough could herald mega-capacity drives

Toshiba said Wednesday that it had made a breakthrough in hard disk design that will allow hard drives to have much higher capacities than what is currently possible today. The research is in something called bit-patterned media, a magnetic storage technology.

The recording surface is broken up into tiny magnetic bits, each of which can hold a single bit of data. The bits are made up of several grains, which are organized in rows. This organization is what makes it possible for data to be found easily.

Current technologies require the data to be spread across a broader section of the disk, requiring hundreds of magnetic grains to store bits of data. However this technology is reaching its upper limits, requiring drive manufacturers to look for new ways to store data.

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Samsung 512GB SSD Has Toggle-mode DDR NAND

SSDs are now hitting sizes that are beginning to make them viable replacements for the magnetic counterparts. Samsung has introduced a new SSD offering in a 512GB configuration – boasting both capacity and speed, utilizing high-performance "toggle-mode" DDR NAND.

"The highly advanced features and characteristics of our new SSD were obtained as a direct result of an aggressive push for further development of our NAND flash technology, our SSD controller and our supportive SSD firmware," said Dong-Soo Jun, executive vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Electronics.

"Early introduction of this state-of-the-art toggle DDR solution will enable Samsung to play a major role in securing faster market acceptance of the new wave of high-end SSD technology," he added.

The new 512GB SSD makes use of a 30 nanometer-class 32 gigabit chip that the company began producing last November.

The toggle-mode DDR structure together with the SATA 3.0Gbps interface generates a maximum sequential read speed of 250 MBps and a 220MBps sequential write speed, both of which provide three-fold the performance of a typical hard disk drive.

Samsung says that those speeds could mean that two 4GB DVD movies can be stored in just a minute.

Samsung provides further gains in power efficiency by having developed a low-power controller specifically for toggle-mode DDR NAND. The resulting power throttling capability enables the drive's high-performance levels without any increase in power consumption over a 40nm-class 16Gb NAND-based 256GB SSD.

The controller also analyzes frequency of use and preferences of the user to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook's battery life for an hour or more (but probably only in best-case-scenarios).

Samsung plans to begin volume production of the 512GB SSD next month.

link Source: MSFN

SanDisk SD card can store data for 100 years

SanDisk on Wednesday announced a Secure Digital card that can store data for 100 years, but can be written on only once. The WORM (write once, read many) card is "tamper proof" and data cannot be altered or deleted, SanDisk said in a statement. The card is designed for long-time preservation of crucial data like legal documents, medical files and forensic evidence, SanDisk said.

The media comes with capacity of only 1GB. SanDisk determined the media's 100-year data-retention lifespan based on internal tests conducted at normal room temperatures.

To draw comparisons, the card is like DVD-write only media, but much smaller and with a much longer life span.

SD cards typically slot into portable devices like digital cameras and mobile phones to store or move images, video or other data. The WORM works like conventional SD media, but only with compatible devices, SanDisk said.

The company said it is shipping the media in volume to the Japanese police force to archive images as an alternative to film, SanDisk said. The company is working with a number of consumer electronics companies including camera vendors to support the media.

The media is available worldwide through resellers. SanDisk did not comment on pricing.

link Source: MSFN

FCC set to reconsider broadband regulations

hardwareFederal regulators are reconsidering the rules that govern high-speed Internet connections - wading into a bitter policy dispute that could be tied up in court for years.

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday to begin taking public comments on three different paths for regulating broadband. That includes a proposal by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations to treat all traffic equally.

Genachowski's proposal is a response to a federal appeals court ruling that has cast doubt on the agency's authority over broadband under its existing regulatory framework.

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Seagate Introduces New Era Of External Storage

hardwareSeagate, the worldwide leader in hard drives and storage solutions, today introduced the next evolution of the company's award-winning FreeAgent external hard drives—its new GoFlex storage solutions. This new family of external drives and accessories introduces a new level of flexibility to traditional USB 2.0 storage that will change the way people store, access, enjoy and share their digital content.

The FreeAgent GoFlex storage family includes easy, plug-and-play portable and desktop drives, with an array of interchangeable cables and desktop adapters that allow each drive to adapt to the interface or device being used. GoFlex hard disk drives are also specially designed to provide interoperability between operating systems in order to work with both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X computers.

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Turn Your iPad Into a Netbook With ClamCase

appleDo you type enough on your iPad that you can make the case for a keyboard, but don't want to lug around a separate input device? ClamCase might have your answer: the first iPad case designed with an integrated keyboard. While there's no set ship date, much less a price, ClamCase has managed to design a pretty slick housing for the iPad. A video rendering of the case shows how it can be used in laptop mode, or in a tablet setting with the top portion folded backward.

There's no official word on availability yet; ClamCase claims it'll ship "later this year," whatever that means. Their website is currently being Slashdotted, so everyone's in the dark regarding pricing and shipping until they manage to recover from the deluge of Apple fans trying to find out about even more cases for their beloved iPads.

What will this case be like to use? Will it be awkward to reach up and touch the screen instead of having a traditional touchpad or pointing stick built into the case? Let us know what you think in the comments.

link Source: PC World

Corsair Launches Outrageously Fast GTX 2533MHz DDR3 Memory

hardwareCorsair, a worldwide supplier of high-performance PC components, today announced the launch of the Dominator® GTX4, a new ultra-high-speed module with operation guaranteed up to 2533 MHz. These modules are available immediately, in limited quantity, from the Corsair Online Store.

Producing modules that perform at these extraordinary speeds requires an extremely meticulous, manual screening process, and each module represents the fastest thirty-two RAMs out of literally thousands of candidates. Each RAM chip is individually screened and graded for performance.

The top few percent are set aside for assembly onto GTX4 modules, the balance are returned to normal manufacturing. Modules are then carefully assembled using these premium ICs, and only the fastest make the GTX grade.

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Intel delays USB 3 chipsets until 2012

intelIntel announced it will wait an additional year before adopting the newer, faster USB 3.0 format by delaying the format’s motherboard chipset.

This recent news announcement will likely only anger some of Intel’s OEM partners, as the companies look to try and integrate USB 3.0 support into new product lineups.

The USB 3.0 format was first introduced in November 2008, but many people doubted the industry-wide demand for such a format.  In 2009, some PCs announced they’ll release USB 3.0 products, but very few were released.  Since then, more companies have launched USB 3.0 chipsets, HDDs, and other devices using the preceding USB 2.0 technology.

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