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1 Petabyte Disk Within 7 Years?

  1. Aug 23, 2003 #1

    that's 1 million gigabytes, or 1,000 terabytes. Good lord what will we do with it? Ya I can picture going for a walk and listening to my MP3 player with- every song ever written in the palm of my hand. the 24 million texts in the library of congress could be contained 50 times within a petabyte.

    So what would you do with a petabyte?

    Personally, I think going on current trends, Windows 2010 will take about about 1/3 of that. Betcha I still get errors too
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2003 #2
    Currently Kazaa has 5 million gigabytes (5 petas) of information - including duplications.

    I still don't see how someone can even fill a hard drive of 100 gigs.

    I guess that it would be a good idea to, rather than go the library and rent perhaps ten pounds of books - to rent the entire library on a disk.......

    ..Every household could contain all that has ever been written - and someone could make a wonderful kazaa bot that could properly download and catagorize with the goal of having one copy of every song known to man.

    Hmmm. I wonder what a windows 2010 petabyte error looks like.

    How blue can a blue screen get eh?
  4. Aug 23, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I can tell you that I have been listening to this discussion for 25 years. When I was in high school, the local university got the first 1 Meg hard drive that anyone around had ever seen. Then we were looking ahead to 1 gig drives and expressing the same thoughts expressed here. Consider that AI has a long way to go. I would think that many forms of AI would be very memory intensive. Then we also address the issue of size. I want a 1 pentabyte drive the size of an IC chip. That's not too much to ask is it??
  5. Aug 23, 2003 #4
    I recall my first computer was a 200 megahertz, with a 2 speed cd rom, probably 2 speed video card, and i can't even recall the amount of ram, the hard drive was probably something like 500 megabytes at most.

    You know, there are currently some darn good neural networks that can recognize written text (or in this case book type text) and convert it into simple formatted word documents.

    I really wish that books would become available in file sharing. At least technical books, and research material.

    I think everyone having the worlds publications in their household would be a wonderful move in the progression of the pursuit of truth.
  6. Aug 23, 2003 #5


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    Well lets hope by 7 yrs there's a non-mechanical device.
  7. Aug 24, 2003 #6
    Well...if it was a 200mhz cpu then it must've had 2GB of hdd...:)
    I thought the same thing when I bought my 60GB hdd...but with games...movies...and stuff like this I filled it up...
    A DVD quality movie has 4GB...you can store "only" 250 of them on a "petabyte" hdd...
    ...and yes...AI requires massive comp power and hdd space...to obtain relevant results...I made a program that recognizes writing and it doesn't have more than let's say...1 MB...or less...but to recognize "pictures" or "movies" it would take much more than that...
  8. Aug 27, 2003 #7


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    The petabyte hard drive prediction was an aside not related to the technology discussed in the article. It is based on the fact that hard drive space has doubled every year for the past 6 years (and only slightly slower over the past 20). I have my doubts about hard drive manufacturers (and processors manufacturers for that matter) being able to keep up the rate of progress. It won't be long before data densities in hard drives and transistor densities in processors are so high they are only a few atoms across. Already, QM is starting to hinder data integrity - much denser and a hard drive becomes not much more than a high efficiency random number generator.

    It'll be interesting to see how the computer industry changes in 5-10 years: The changes will need to be radical, revolutionary even, to keep anywhere near the current rate of progress.
  9. Aug 28, 2003 #8
    Well, it will be useful for when I digitize myself and enter my computer to fight the Master Control prog...wait...I think that was just Tron.
  10. Sep 1, 2003 #9
    No, check the math again, that's 250,000 Movies, which would still be very hard to fill. Anyway, the way things are going, as computers increase in power, it seems that many software engineers begin to get more lenient in using that power effectively, games that take 1 Ghz to run have come out that don't look or perform any better than games that came out long ago and ran on 90 Mhz.
  11. Sep 3, 2003 #10
    I'd like to have a 1-terabyte hdd. I could fill 2/10th of it right off the bat and the remainder would allow me a good deal of time before needing another one.
  12. Sep 10, 2003 #11
    well, problem with such storage is bandwidth. If you write to it nonstop at speed of 10Megabytes/sec, it will take 1157 days to fill it even once! By that time, 10petabyte disks are standard...

    As to technology, current one is quite far from being done. Main barrier with such densities will be energy, especially for cpus. Every erasure of bit is transferred to heat. At terahertz and teragates, this transfers into quite some megawatts.
    Change will be needed quite radical, one they already are learning is 'reversible logic'. Can go down to few atoms per bit.
  13. Sep 27, 2003 #12
    There are several engineering barriers to overcome. I know I saw an article on some type of 3d holography storage medium using lasers. Also, organic storage is a hot topic nowadays. I agree we're reaching the limits of silcon pathways. I believe that a new storage medium will have to be found.

    As far as access speeds, that will no doubt improve as well.Firewire is the current high speed technology, but I can see it eventuallly metamorphosing into fiber optic hard drive connections to break the GB/Sec barrier. The heat dissapation could be an issue, and I don't see an immediate solution to it, but then 20 years ago we couldn't predict how to handle the heat dissapation on a 3GHZ machine. Progress in computer technology is constant, and will no doubt continue at it's current rate.
  14. Oct 1, 2003 #13
    I've now filled two of them. It's called too much time on my hands.
  15. Oct 3, 2003 #14
    Zantra, its not access speeds nor technological barrier for it, its a matter of content. WHAT would you download at 10MB/sec flat out?? I can only imagine Eshelon or alikes that would need such disks. It reminds me marketing that 1m diameter water pipe in your household is something you can't live without. There's only that much information you could possibly handle.

    I personally think that Ethernet will take over in years to come. 10G ethernet can transfer 1GB/sec. That more than enough, and being mass technology it can drive costs down more than anything. And 100G is on paper. Although they talk about all-optical switching, it will take 20 years for it to become competing with ethernet.

    As to heat dissipation, check this: http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/reversible.html
    Few years back I saw prototype schematics of memory chip, afaik by Sun, claiming that commercial implementations are within reach. Now I can't find anything on 'net anymore on that one. I wonder..
    Interesting with reversible logic is simple fact, that it avoids dissipation of energy during cycle. This adds complex constraints to how things should be wired and programmed, but if its done successfully, result is that quite complex computations could be made at arbitrary speeds with neglible heat dissipation. Its almost as quantum computing. That could allow to go into volume (todays chips are quite flat due to heat removal issues).
  16. Oct 7, 2003 #15
    I heard IBM was working on sort of like a punch card on a microscopic scale, using stable atoms and arranging them to be read as either one's or zeros

    Another technology could be blue lasers in CD's, instead of the conventional red the shorter wavelength means a higher capacity
  17. Jul 24, 2007 #16

    in the future everything will be high-definition including sound and will take up more room on your hard drive. as files get bigger and better so do hard drives.
  18. Jul 25, 2007 #17


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    Not really there are chips with a PENTAbyte worth of pins (pentabyte presumably equalling 5bytes)

    <back when I were a lad mode=on>
    When I was in grad school we went on a buying spree when external 1Gb SCSI hard drives for Suns went below £1000, imagine having all your data on-line instead of having to shuttle back-and-forward to tapes! External 1Tb USB disks are now £100.

    10 years ago I built infrared cameras that filled a 50Gb tape every night. The LHC experiment at CERN will produce about 15Petabytes of processed data a year.
  19. Jul 25, 2007 #18


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    Jeez... when I was in high-school, the local university had the only mainframe in the county. It had 5k of ferrite-core working memory, and a couple of 100k reel-to-reel tape drives. Input was pencil cards or punch cards, and output was a 40-character impact line printer.

    When my friends and I got our computers (Apple II's, C64's and Atari 400's), we couldn't see how anyone could ever need a meg of permanent storage. The rich guys had 540k 5 1/4" floppy drives, and the rest of us used cassette tapes.

    I'm a bit more optimistic. With any luck, we'll have stand-alone 3-D by then, which will really need some space.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
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