History of Hard Disk Drives

History Of Hard Disk Drives

In 1953 IBM recognized the immediate application for what it termed a "Random Access File" having high capacity and rapid random access at a relatively low cost. After considering technologies such as wire matrices, rod arrays, drums, drum arrays, etc., the engineers at IBM's San Jose California laboratory invented the hard disk drive. The disk drive created a new level in the computer data hierarchy, then termed Random Access Storage but today known as secondary storage, less expensive and slower than main memory (then typically drums) but faster and more expensive than tape 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. US Patent 3,503,060 issued March 24, 1970, and arising from the IBM RAMAC program is generally considered to be the fundamental patent for disk drives.

Each generation of disk drives replaced larger, more sensitive and more cumbersome devices. The earliest drives were usable only in the protected environment of a data center. Later generations progressively reached factories, offices and homes, eventually reaching ubiquity.

Disk media diameter was nominally 8 or 14 inches (200 or 360 mm) and were typically mounted in standalone boxes (resembling washing machines) or large equipment rack enclosures. Individual drives often required high-current AC power due to the large motors required to spin the large disks. Hard disk drives were not commonly used with microcomputers until after 1980, when Seagate Technology introduced the ST-506, the first 5.25 inches (133 mm) drive.

The capacity of hard drives has grown exponentially over time. When hard drives became available for personal computers, they offered 5-megabyte capacity. During the mid-1990s the typical hard disk drive for a PC had a capacity of about 1 gigabyte. As of January 2012, desktop hard disk drives typically had a capacity of 500 to 2000 gigabytes, while the largest-capacity drives were 4 terabytes.

Read more about History Of Hard Disk Drives1950s–1970s, 1980s, The PC Era, Timeline, Manufacturing History

Other articles related to "history of hard disk drives, hard, disks":

History Of Hard Disk Drives - Manufacturing History
... See also List of defunct hard disk manufacturers As of December 2011, virtually all of the world's HDDs were manufactured by three large companies Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba ... or CMI after an incident with faulty 20MB AT disks in 1985, CMI's reputation never recovered, and they exited the HDD business in 1987 ... was an important manufacturer during the 1980s, but stopped making disks in the early 1990s to concentrate on technology licensing they hold a number of patents related to 3.5-inch form factor HDDs ...

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