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Storage Technology: Capabilities and Limitations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131390D
Original Publication Date: 1979-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 10 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

A. S. Hoagland: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

With the increased circuit densities now being realized, the CPU is shrinking in size, and this, coupled with the insatiable demand for more and more storage, now begins to invoke a visual impression of a ";computer center"; as only an assembly of disk and tape drives and associated media storage libraries; ";peripheral"; may now be a more appropriate adjective for the CPU than for storage. (Let the ";chips"; fall where they may.) Figures 1 and 2 give some illustration of the disk and tape world today. The use of storage technologies depends on three principal factors: cost per bit,

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Storage Technology: Capabilities and Limitations

A. S. Hoagland

IBM San Jose

   (Image Omitted: The disk remains the primary form of mass storage. Despite competing technologies, improvements in disk technology will ensure its widespread use throughout the remainder of the century.)

Improving the performance and extending the utility of information processing requires access to ever larger volumes of data. Thus, the impact of progress in storage technology on the overall growth of the information processing industry is immense. By advances that continually reduce the cost of storage it becomes feasible to develop and place more and more applications on computer systems by permitting both a larger system data base and more sophisticated control and applications programs. Unfortunately, the term "mass storage" has no precise technical meaning, being all too frequently used to describe on-line peripheral storage of a size bigger than a user currently believes he can justify. Once the user's system is upgraded to that level, however, as technical advances over time allow capacity to be increased for a fixed cost, this amount of storage is barely considered adequate, much less "mass." In discussing hardware, the term is most commonly associated with mechanical storage devices. While solid-state memory continually provides more and more bits per chip, the rate at which storage capacity can be absorbed grows even faster, and thus it seems electronic memories will never eliminate the use of auxiliary storage devices. As storage costs decrease, applications expand, the market grows, and product volume increases; the resulting cost reductions in turn reinforce the cycle. In addition, it then becomes feasible to increase investment in technology, which results in a further improvement in cost/performance. It is thus important to understand storage technology trends if one is to anticipate the future.

Overview

With the increased circuit densities now being realized, the CPU is shrinking in size, and this, coupled with the insatiable demand for more and more storage, now begins to invoke a visual impression of a "computer center" as only an assembly of disk and tape drives and associated media storage libraries; "peripheral" may now be a more appropriate adjective for the CPU than for storage. (Let the "chips" fall where they may.) Figures 1 and 2 give some illustration of the disk and tape world today.

The use of storage technologies depends on three principal factors:

cost per bit,

access time, and

entry cost (capital require...