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Given that heads are thin film technology, and that control electronics gets cheaper every year; at some point it will become cheaper to make a hard drive with no head movement servo at all; but one stationary head per track instead. WOuld increase read and write speeds too in proportion to th3e number
of heads. Same idea works for cd-rom and dvd of course.
Fixed-head mainframe disk, circa 1975
"Each track therefore had its own head, so the seek time was zero - you just electronically switched heads." [krelnik, Oct 17 2004]
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||Damn! I was hoping stationary had been misspelled and this was about a paper headband.
||Actually, this is the way disk drives were made originally, back in the days when the disk platters were half a meter across and the drive cost $100,000. See link for a picture.
||I think track spacing is too tight. The
other problem would be data rate - a
single head can read up to 100MB/s
with 15K Atlas drives. That would be
approximate 50GB/s (given that there
are about 1000 tracks on a 3.5" platter).
||Far bigger savings would be in seak
times, which would be reduced to
rotational latency. Unfortunately, I think
high capacity flash drives will reign
supreme as there's no latency at all.
||I imagine the heads distributed over the surface in a Fibbonaci spiral like the seeds in a sunflower.
||Read and write speeds would not increase in _direct_ proportion to the number of heads; there are overheads in parallel data processing and transmission meaning the speed increase is less than you might expect.