Hard Disk Drive Organization Announces a New Sector Length
IDEMA, the International Disk Drive, Equipment, and Materials
Association, has announced the results of an industry committee
assembled to identify a new and longer sector standard for future
magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs). This Committee recommended replacing
the 30 year-standard of 512 bytes with sectors having ability to store
Dr. Ed Grochowski, executive director of IDEMA US, says that adopting a
4K-byte sector length facilitates further increases in data density for
hard drives which will increase storage capacity for users while
continuing to reduce cost per gigabyte.
"Increasing areal density of newer magnetic hard disk drives requires a
more robust error correction code (ECC), and this can be more
efficiently applied to 4096 byte sector lengths," explained Dr. Martin
Hassner from Hitachi GST and IDEMA Committee member. "Today, hard drives
are a major storage product for essentially all computer and consumer
applications, and increased capacities are required to meet customer
needs for more storage."
The IDEMA Long Data Block Committee was composed of members representing
the major hard drive developers, as well as electronics and software
companies. The Microsoft Corporation participated in this Committee and
plans to include a 4K-byte sector capability in their upcoming operating
system named Windows Vista.
The Committee foresees the first hard drive products becoming available
later this year or in 2007, and is asking the computer industry to
recognize this new standard and prepare for its availability. Backward
compatibility with existing 512-byte products, both in hardware and in
software, will be defined and accommodated during the phase over period.
It is projected that most disk drives will be eventually formatted for