In the past few decades, computers have evolved at an incredible pace and digital storage is no exception. Digital Storage has continuously pushed for new breakthroughs not only in the overall storage capacities but also in terms of the different and more efficient formats.
The latest trends in digital storage have shown an exponential growth in storage capacity and a similar reduction in the size of storage device. These trends give us an idea of what is to come in the near future but one cannot possibly fathom the type of storage devices there will be after a decade or so. But before focusing upon these future trends, let’s have some idea about its past.
In 1956, RAMAC 305 - the first computer with a hard disk drive was launched by IBM. It consisted of fifty 24" discs stacked together in a wardrobe-sized machine which enabled it to have a storage capacity of 5 million 7-bit characters, or about 4.4 MB. The back-to-back releases from IBM lead to the introduction of removable disks packs with the storage capacity of 100 MB in 1970s.
In 1971, a new revolution came in the storage world with the launch of Floppy Disks which were extremely lightweight and portable. Then the trend of smaller, cheaper and consumer-level disk drives became common. With the commencement of 1990s, storage devices had a tremendous growth. Floppy disks were replaced by CD-ROMs, CD-ROMs by DVD-ROMs which were later superseded by Blu-Ray technology.
The type of digital storage can be shown as:
- SSD (Solid-State Drive): It’s one of the newest types of storage device available in the market which consists of a control chip and flash memory. The main advantage of using this device is that it’s shock resistant as it has no mechanical parts. It is primarily used in mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and ultra-book computers because of its higher price and lesser storage capacity in comparison to hard drives.
- USB Drive: That’s the most common portable device in use now-a-days. It’s been very popular because of its fast read/write speed and plug-and-play capability.
- Micro-SD cards: This small chip can store even save up to 32 GB of data. It is even 3 million times lighter and is around 10000 times cheaper than the storage devices which were being used 30 years ago. It is been assumed that before the end of this decade, Micro-SD cards will exceed the storage capacity of the human brain.
- Cloud Technology:Not only chips or other devices, the network is also used to store the data now. Cloud storage is a way to store the data in a virtualized pool of data which is generally hosted by third parties. It’s slowly becoming part of every individual’s daily life.
It is assumed that the exponential growth in the capacity and price of storage devices will continue. The new formats will open the way for new paradigms and higher densities to save the continuously increasing data.