Moore’s Law is the name the press gave to the observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel. He said that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, the pace slowed down over time, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore’s Law, which Moore himself has blessed. Most experts, including Moore himself, expect Moore’s Law to hold for at least another two decades.
Moore’s Law is just an observation about transistor density on IC chips, but everyone seems to apply it to hard drive density as well. So it is no surprise that Hitachi, the world’s number two maker of hard drives has just announced a 500 GB Drive. Fans and followers were expecting an 800 GB drive, but let’s not be too disappointed – half a Terabyte is a very big 3.5″ drive.
Let’s talk PVRs for a second. An 80 GB drive in your TiVo is good for about 40 hours of watchable video. A 500 GB drive in your TiVo will ramp that up to about 200 hours. Hitachi plans to make the new drives available to manufacturers in the first quarter of 2005 so you are going to see very big jumps in storage from factory units by the Christmas season. 500 GB external Firewire (IEEE 1394) drives have been available for a while from companies like LaCie.
And, on the smaller is better side of the equation, Hitachi will offer a 1″ – 10 GB hard drive suitable for mobile devices, cell phones and generally small gadgets by the second half of the year. This is going to seriously propel cell phone video applications, enable “push plays” for content providers and generally change the way media is received on the consumer side. Add some decent resolution and you’ve got a ENG crew in your cell phone!