Computers

Seagate doubles down on HDD speeds with Multi Actuator tech

Seagate doubles down on HDD sp...
Seagate has unveiled its Multi Actuator technology, which could double the performance of hard disk drives
Seagate has unveiled its Multi Actuator technology, which could double the performance of hard disk drives
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Seagate has unveiled its Multi Actuator technology, which could double the performance of hard disk drives
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Seagate has unveiled its Multi Actuator technology, which could double the performance of hard disk drives

To handle the kind of number-crunching that Big Data will need in the future, improving hard drive capacity is only part of the picture. Those gains will be lost unless the read and write speeds can keep up, and to that end, Seagate has now unveiled Multi Actuator technology, which will allow two sets of data to be written or read from the same drive at the same time.

In a conventional hard disk drive, data is written to and read from a surface by way of a series of magnetic heads attached to an arm. An actuator moves these heads up and down, usually as one group. Seagate's plan to improve performance sounds simple enough: use two actuators.

Hard drives that use the company's Multi Actuator technology will have two independent arms, allowing these devices to process two sets of data simultaneously. That effectively doubles the performance of the drive, which is crucial for future data centers that will need to access more and more information.

"Basically, we're taking the high-capacity hard drive a customer already needs and expects, and magically doubling the IOPS (input/output operations per second) the customer gets from it – with no down side," says James Borden, principal product strategist at Seagate.

While Seagate hasn't revealed any specific time frames just yet, the company says that the Multi Actuator technology is in development and will appear in products in the near future.

Source: Seagate

5 comments
VincentWolf
Why not have a dozen or more actuator arms and up an order of magnitude in performance?
Douglas E Knapp
Why not have two drives?
christopher
Why not have independently movable linear arms, one for each side of a platter, with thousands of read-heads on each one?
aki009
To answer the multiple independent arms questions, it seems to me that the issue is the size of the magnets. The arms use voicecoils for movement, and need a magnet to "push" against. Those magnets need to have a certain flux in relation to the arms (and the required moment), and currently it seems that they can't be made thin enough to match the space available between platters. Until someone makes an economical magnet with a higher flux that can hence be made thinner, individually moving heads will remain a dream.
warren52nz
Ummm... Isn't that like making a better VCR? Aren't Solid State Drives taking over?