back to article Tablets mean tubby HDDs must get thinner - A*STAR

Tablet computers need skinnier hard drives to provide more capacity than flash, with flash caches adding speed to the single spinning platter mix. Researchers at the Singapore-based A*STAR or Data Storage Institute, which has been popping up in El Reg's pages quite a lot recently, think that current 7mm-thick single platter 2.5- …

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I'd like to patent...

...the idea of using the disk platter as the rotor in the motor

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Coat

The rotor in the motor? Isn't that like...

... the candle with the 'andle on the gateau from the chateau? Looks like prior art to me.

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DSI may be excited but everyone else seems to have figured out that a device small enough to need a 5mm drive is going to be better matched to an SSD. Conversely, devices powerful enough to need the capacity that (today) only spinning platters can provide will be large enough to fit a 7mm drive.

Put it another way, first decide whether your device a shrunken laptop or an oversize phone, and then provide it appropriate processing power, memory and storage space.

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Media players

Buy a tablet such as an Archos which offers multi media playback and see how you get on with flash storage. SSDs & flash are just too expensive for that kind of device.

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ahhmm toshiba ship a 220gb 1.8 inch drive that is 5mm thick (do DSI know this????)

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Dear god

Please do not listen to the crackheads @ A*STAR. That institute/organisation invents nothing fruitful whilst wasting Singapore tax payers money.

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You've just described 90% of "think tanks", industry or otherwise.

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What The

Really.... Or just put more flash in them, or even better same amount of flash chips but with bigger capacity...

moving parts do not belong in a phone or tablet... or laptop.

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Amen.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 64Gb version, which i've had for few months now.

I wouldnt even be close to filling it if it was the 16Gb version.

Tablets are convenient and useful for there intended purpose, easy browsing of the internet, streaming movies, Reading Ebooks, et al, but i wont be doing my wordprocessing / gaming on it (Other than the occasional game of Angry birds, which is hardly a Disk hog). I cant imagine what i would do with more disk space, other than copy a few more movies on to it rather than stream them.

You can now get a 512Gb SSD and although the prices for one of those are not cheap, they probably will be in a few years time. Mechanical Hard drives still provide about 5x as much space as an SSD, cheaper, but thats not needed for a tablet.

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FAIL

spinning disks in tablets?

You've got to be kidding... flash capacities and prices are now such that you'd be mad to put spinning rust in a tablet.

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Meh

Many years ago I had a 1GB spinning disk PCMCIA type II hard drive (for installation on an iPaq --- remember them?). That was 5mm thick. So this has already been solved.

OTOH, the drive was thin and flimsy and lasted for about six months before failing, and then they seemed to have withdrawn from the market, so I suspect it wasn't solved very well...

Here's a 5GB model on Amazon (discontinued), if you want a picture: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-Type-PCMCIA-Hard-Disk/dp/B00005U5RJ

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Anyone remember Microdrive?

They were hard drives 5mm thick. They died as a technology when flash memory became cheap and capacious.

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Obsession with thinness

I think the obsession to make tablets as thin as possible is a bit exaggerated: Once you get below 10-12mm, I see little need to reduce thickness further -- weight becomes more of an issue. Very thin cases make the devices less stiff (unless you use weight to reinforce them), so there will be a trade off when you get below a certain thickness.

That said, I agree that SSD drives seems like a better choice for mobile devices, especially since the prices are now comparable.

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DJO
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Facepalm

Cough splutter --> Torben Mogensen

"SSD drives seems like a better choice for mobile devices, especially since the prices are now comparable."

What universe do you live in where "comparable" means " nearly 20 times the cost"

SSD 60G Corsair Nova Series 2 £64.32 (107.2 p/G)

HD 2500G WD Caviar £155.99 (6.24 p/G)

And that's a current increased due to flooding HD price which does enhance the viability of SSDs, a year ago the difference was nearer x40 and over the next few years the cost of SSDs may well approach that of HDs but to say they are comparable now is either insane or the mark of someone who does not have to pay for kit out of their own pocket.

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