A magnetic storage milestone:
Date added: 06 Sep 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Against the backdrop of the first commercial magnetic hard-disk drive for storing computer data, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this month, IBM Fellow Jai Menon shows off IBM's latest data storage innovation: a prototype compact storage "blade" that can hold more than 500,000 times more information in a space not much larger than a briefcase. Invented by IBM researchers in San Jose, Calif., and unveiled to customers on September 13, 1956, the first commercial disk drive, called RAMAC, was the size of two large refrigerators, had 50 disks each two feet in diameter, weighed about a ton and held a then-staggering 5 million characters (about 5 megabytes) – which today is equivalent to just a single medium resolution digital photograph. IBM's new storage blade, now being developed in Tucson, Ariz., holds more than 2.5 trillion bytes in 18 modern disk drives arranged in six convenient plug-in trays. IBM's storage blade is expected to be available next year. Over the past half century, IBM has been the leader in data storage, having made numerous discoveries and technological advances in disk drives, magnetic tape storage, storage system software, materials science and nanotechnology. The company is the perennial leader in storage patents and was awarded the National Medal of Technology for its many pioneering contributions to the information storage industry.