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Variable Spinrate Drives

Slow Drives Save Power and Ear Drums
 
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Create optical notches around the edge of the platter that align with data bits on the platter to sync with, then allow drives to vary between say 3000 RPM (near idle, but enough for the air cushion) to 15000 RPM based on data rate demand (and I suppose inversely to bad conditions like heat build up, etc).

Heads could read continuously (once RPM is greater than float speed), which would also shave a few seconds off boot time, not having to wait for spin-up. Ideally, this should be buffer through RAM and a flash 'parition' (2GB).

e.g.,

Flash 'parititon' getting used, but nothing committed, hdd spins down completely to save power. RAM is unused to save power.

Flash 'partition' is getting near capacity, but not at an alaming rate, start drive at near-idle speed (3000 RPM), read write to relieve data growth rate. RAM is still unused.

Flash 'partition' getting used very heavily, data growth will exceed space. Kick speed up as needed to maintain flash room. RAM begins caching what the flash can't hold and the HDD has yet to write.

nonarKitten, Jun 08 2006

Like this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive
It's called a "hybrid disk drive" and Windows Vista will already have support for them. [NoOneYouKnow, Jun 08 2006]

[link]






       A variable speed disk? Like all CD-ROM drives? Or notebook hard drives?   

       Samsung has already announced a hybrid drive combining flash with standard hard drive technology. Windows Vista is supposed to release with support built in.
NoOneYouKnow, Jun 08 2006
  

       Changing the speed (particularly, speeding it up), requires *more* power, and depending on how quickly you want it to gain speed, a *lot* more power.   

       When a drive is in a steady state, you're only overcoming friction. When accelerating the spindles, you're also adding kinetic energy (angular momentum).   

       The net result is that you're better off spinning at a constant speed than constantly changing.
danpat, Jun 08 2006
  

       Portables should have clockwork hard-drives.
Ling, Jun 12 2006
  

       well, I think if you made an iphone app that used the accelerometer to record the moves of street performers spinning n break dancing at 90s revival fests you could graph their RPM as well as trueness to form, then upload it to the cloud live, which would be like spinning flash memory.
beanangel, May 03 2012
  

       //Changing the speed (particularly, speeding it up), requires *more* power//   

       So, why not provide hard drives (particularly for battery-powered devices) with regenerative braking?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2012
  

       //regenerative braking// a spring; every time you restart the drive after stopping it, it spins in the opposite direction as previous.
FlyingToaster, May 03 2012
  
      
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