Forget HDDs, forget SSDs, here come the HRDs

The debate between SSDs and HDDs will rage for years to come, but what happens when a real contender busts in? Now, I’m not talking about some holographic future toy that some physicist thinks might be ready by 2018. The “Hard Rectangular Drive” from DataSlide is a sort of hybrid between a solid state system and a normal platter-based hard drive. Think about a regular hard drive: you’ve got a read/write head in effect zooming around the hard drive, writing stuff onto an unimaginably long spiral. Now imagine if there were a million such heads all lined up, and they just moved up and down a million shorter tracks. Hmm? Sound good?

Well, I kind of oversold it a bit. At the moment, they’ve only got 64 heads running concurrently, but they believe they can work up something that will have many more heads, enabling 160,000 I/O operations per second and a 500MB/s transfer speed. That’s better than even the high-end SSDs — plus, the power draw is only 4W for enough HRD to fill a 3.5″ drive enclosure.

Unfortunately the semi-sequential writing mode means they’ll have to have their own drivers, but if this technology ends up advancing and getting picked up, that should be a piece of cake.

[via Reg Hardware and Tom’s Hardware]