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 Post subject: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 19:22 
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http://www.storage.toshiba.com/storages ... aca-series
http://www.storage.toshiba.com/ProductD ... ct=MG04ACA

"models supporting either Advanced Format 512e emulation of legacy sector lengths, and the latest industry standard 4K native sector length"

http://www.storage.toshiba.com/storages ... se/mg04sca
http://www.storage.toshiba.com/ProductD ... ct=MG04SCA

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 19:36 
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I notice that 4Kn and 512e sector lengths require separate models. For example, the MG04ACA500E has 512-byte LBAs while the MG04ACA500A has 4KB LBAs. ISTM that it should be possible to select one or the other via a jumper, or is there something I am missing?

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 20:53 
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fzabkar wrote:
I notice that 4Kn and 512e sector lengths require separate models. For example, the MG04ACA500E has 512-byte LBAs while the MG04ACA500A has 4KB LBAs. ISTM that it should be possible to select one or the other via a jumper, or is there something I am missing?

I suspect it's not that easy, although theoretically possible but not economically feasible
512e and 4K drive will have different FWs on upper levels, especially caching and ATA commands that transfer data (data size is selected in sectors)
It is possible to create FW that would work with either sector size IMHO, but nobody needs it (I mean switching sector size is kinda pointless for a drive with file system, because all major partitioning schemas are sector size related anyway) and FW would be larger and that means more work to catch all the bugs and more space to keep the FW somewhere


I'm interested in technology they used to create a 5TB drive
It's gotta be either shingled recording or patterned media, either way it would be interesting to get one of those for a closer look

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Last edited by Doomer on February 16th, 2014, 21:01, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 20:59 
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I still don't see the difficulty. There is plenty of space in the SA to store both sets of firmware. A jumper could select which set gets loaded into RAM.

As for the technology, AIUI the 5TB model has 5 x 1TB platters whereas the 4TB model has 5 x 800GB platters. I don't know about the recording technology, though.

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Last edited by fzabkar on February 16th, 2014, 21:05, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:04 
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fzabkar wrote:
I still don't see the difficulty.

I tried to use very simple explanation :)
But if you don't need an answer, why ask a question?

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:07 
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fzabkar wrote:
As for the technology, AIUI the 5TB model has 5 x 1TB platters whereas the 4TB model has 5 x 800GB platters. I don't know about PMR or shingled recording, though.

Hitachi didn't sell 5-platter technology to Toshiba, I don't know if they were bold enough to try to create their own 5-platter drives but I doubt it.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:15 
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FWIW AnandTech is suggesting that the drives have 5 x 1TB platters:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7760/5tb- ... -announced

Quote:
Despite the focus on immediate storage is on the solid-state drive, whenever a large backup is needed then the mechanical hard-disk drive is still reigning supreme, and the demand for data density has never been higher.  In the consumer space 4TB drives have been on sale for a while, currently for around $164 in the US or £123 in the UK.  These were four platters at 1TB each, or five platters at 800 GB each, using PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording, remember this video?).  Toshiba Electronics Europe has just announced the amalgamation of the higher platter density with the higher number of platters, in an enterprise level 5TB 3.5” 7200 RPM drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:20 
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Doomer wrote:
fzabkar wrote:
I still don't see the difficulty.

I tried to use very simple explanation :)
But if you don't need an answer, why ask a question?

Your answer is confusing. You seem to be suggesting that the user might want to switch sector sizes after installing a file system. Obviously that would be silly. The decision as to the LBA size would need to be made before the drive was partitioned and formatted.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:21 
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Awesome, so they want to fight with the big guys.
Bold move, Toshiba, bold move
If their product is reliable that would be a great battle to watch.
Assuming the information about five-platter-drive is correct

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:26 
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Doomer wrote:
Assuming the information about five-platter-drive is correct

If you examine the datasheet, the maximum sustained data transfer rates for the 4TB and 5TB models are 185 MiB/s and 205 MiB/s, respectively.

All things being equal, and applying a rule of thumb ...

185 x sqrt(5 / 4) = 207

My rule of thumb assumes that the BPT and TPI numbers increase in the same proportion.

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Last edited by fzabkar on February 16th, 2014, 21:33, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 21:33 
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fzabkar wrote:
Your answer is confusing. You seem to be suggesting that the user might want to switch sector sizes after installing a file system. Obviously that would be silly. The decision as to the LBA size would need to be made before the drive was partitioned and formatted.

IDK why that would be silly but anyway
creating to separate FWs and simply putting them to SA is not gonna do the trick because:
1. you need a space in flash to keep code that would understand both 512 and 4K sectors (no, not all ATA commands are in SA code, some of them are in flash code and Toshiba drives don't have SA code at all BTW) and since you want two separate codes then you need either two flashes or twice as bigger flash -> more money
1. you need special boot loader that would select which FW to load. And such loader does not yet exist -> more developing is needed -> more money, more potential bugs
2. you need new different system area layout to keep two separate FWs and that doesn't not exists -> more developing is needed ->more money, more potential bugs

That's from a top of my head. Lets say Toshiba overcomes all that, then what? What's the benefit? I actually don't see any.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 16th, 2014, 23:29 
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Doomer wrote:
fzabkar wrote:
Your answer is confusing. You seem to be suggesting that the user might want to switch sector sizes after installing a file system. Obviously that would be silly. The decision as to the LBA size would need to be made before the drive was partitioned and formatted.

IDK why that would be silly

It would be silly because it would render the data inaccessible. In fact I see this exact same scenario in various storage forums on an almost weekly basis.

For example, take a Seagate or WD 3TB external drive. These come preconfigured with a single 3TB MBR partition and 4KB LBAs. In other words, they behave as 4Kn drives.

Now remove these drives from their enclosures and attach them directly to a SATA port inside your computer. This exposes the drives' native 512e LBAs.

So now you have a "4Kn file system" and a 512e interface. The partition table is telling the OS that the boot sector is at LBA X. Inside the enclosure, LBA X would correspond to physical sector X (= logical sector 8X), but inside the computer it corresponds to logical sector X. In short, the OS cannot find the boot sector and asks the user if they wish to format their drive.

Doomer wrote:
... creating to separate FWs and simply putting them to SA is not gonna do the trick because:
1. you need a space in flash to keep code that would understand both 512 and 4K sectors (no, not all ATA commands are in SA code, some of them are in flash code and Toshiba drives don't have SA code at all BTW) and since you want two separate codes then you need either two flashes or twice as bigger flash -> more money
1. you need special boot loader that would select which FW to load. And such loader does not yet exist -> more developing is needed -> more money, more potential bugs
2. you need new different system area layout to keep two separate FWs and that doesn't not exists -> more developing is needed ->more money, more potential bugs

That's from a top of my head. Lets say Toshiba overcomes all that, then what? What's the benefit? I actually don't see any.

I don't see the advantage of having two separate models which have essentially no real differences, unless the intention is to target different market segments and to charge a price premium for one over the other. In fact there must be costs associated with having two models when one could suffice, and wouldn't these costs be more significant that the cost of a little extra flash memory plus a little extra software development?

As for the special boot loader, how hard can that be? The individual 4Kn and 512e firmware has already been tested and debugged, so we could just assign each to its own half of flash. The boot loader would only need to examine the state of the jumper (an MCU GPIO pin), and then load the corresponding half of flash into SDRAM.

As for the SA layout, wouldn't (or couldn't) the code in the firmware modules be based on the physical sector size rather than logical sector size, and wouldn't this then make the SA structure independent of the LBA size?

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 12:40 
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fzabkar wrote:
It would be silly because it would render the data inaccessible.

exactly, as I told you before
But if you can't change the sector size after you used the drive (w/o reformatting it) then why would you need to change it at all i.e. why would you need a drive that could work with two sector sizes?

fzabkar wrote:
I don't see the advantage of having two separate models

The advantage is that you don't need to change FW and its architecture, thus you will not need to spend extra to gain a feature that nobody needs. (I think it is the third time I'm trying to deliver this message to you. It seems that it's not worth the effort)

fzabkar wrote:
As for the SA layout, wouldn't (or couldn't) the code in the firmware modules be based on the physical sector size rather than logical sector size, and wouldn't this then make the SA structure independent of the LBA size?

Physically - yes, logically - it depends.
SA consists of modules and often modules have corresponding size inside them and the modules map also has modules sizes. WD drives, for example, store modules sizes in sectors, that creates a problem

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 13:18 
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Interesting about the two model numbers

and what sort of storage devices will be able to handle the 4K native

(plugging it into a standard sata controller will assume 512byte sectors)


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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 17th, 2014, 23:14 
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Doomer wrote:
fzabkar wrote:
It would be silly because it would render the data inaccessible.

exactly, as I told you before

No, you said ...

"IDK why [switching sector sizes after installing a file system] would be silly".

Last time I checked, "IDK" means "I don't know".

Doomer wrote:
But if you can't change the sector size after you used the drive (w/o reformatting it) then why would you need to change it at all i.e. why would you need a drive that could work with two sector sizes?

You would "need" this facility for the reasons that I have already explained, namely that you could use the same piece of hardware for all your applications. One might refer to it as "future proofing". Moreover, I don't see the problem with choosing a particular sector size and sticking to it until the next format. In fact WD's drives shipped with an alignment jumper that essentially imposed a similar restriction, namely that you would need to reformat your drive after changing the state of the jumper.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 10:32 
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fzabkar wrote:
Doomer wrote:
fzabkar wrote:
It would be silly because it would render the data inaccessible.

exactly, as I told you before

No, you said ...

"IDK why [switching sector sizes after installing a file system] would be silly".

Last time I checked, "IDK" means "I don't know".


I guess I need to quote myself, maybe you would read it this time
Quote:
I mean switching sector size is kinda pointless for a drive with file system, because all major partitioning schemas are sector size related anyway


fzabkar wrote:
Moreover, I don't see the problem with choosing a particular sector size and sticking to it until the next format. In fact WD's drives shipped with an alignment jumper that essentially imposed a similar restriction, namely that you would need to reformat your drive after changing the state of the jumper.

The example you gave is not relevant.
First of all shifting LBA space by a number of sectors (alignment) is much easier than implementing dual sector size support. All what you need to do for alignment is to add fake record to the translation system and that's it.
Second, 5TB from Toshiba is an enterprise drive, these drives are meant to be used, not re-used. Once it's installed it's there till the end, nobody's gonna go and re-use these drives in some other setup.


PS: The discussion is pointless to me, I'm done here.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 13:04 
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Doomer wrote:
Hitachi didn't sell 5-platter technology to Toshiba, I don't know if they were bold enough to try to create their own 5-platter drives but I doubt it.


Hitachi had released 5 platter drives prior to the deal with Toshiba, how are you sure they didnt sell this technology?


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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 15:06 
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MANDR wrote:
Doomer wrote:
Hitachi didn't sell 5-platter technology to Toshiba, I don't know if they were bold enough to try to create their own 5-platter drives but I doubt it.


Hitachi had released 5 platter drives prior to the deal with Toshiba, how are you sure they didnt sell this technology?

Toshiba's 4TB drives (MG03ACA400 and MG03SCA400, announced in Nov 2012) have 5-platters.

http://www.storagereview.com/toshiba_4t ... _announced
http://www.storagereview.com/toshiba_sa ... mg03acax00
http://www.storagereview.com/toshiba_sa ... mg03scax00

Both PCBs have "Toshiba" printed on them, and no chips have part numbers that look like Hitachi's numbers.

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 16:36 
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Talk about going off-topic :D

Anyway, I recon TDK/SDK is the main reason that Toshiba pulled this drive out of the hat.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/26050/tdk ... index.html TDK supplies heads for Toshiba and has been known to manufacture HDD at SAE China for them. SDK makes their media

AFAIK Tosh were first to market with Perpendicular recording ;) MK4007GAL

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 Post subject: Re: Toshiba announces 5TB 3.5" SATA/SAS models
PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 17:07 
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Doomer wrote:
fzabkar wrote:
As for the technology, AIUI the 5TB model has 5 x 1TB platters whereas the 4TB model has 5 x 800GB platters. I don't know about PMR or shingled recording, though.

Hitachi didn't sell 5-platter technology to Toshiba, I don't know if they were bold enough to try to create their own 5-platter drives but I doubt it.


I wouldn't use such drive, but it would be interesting to know how such capacity is achieved and what is inside. Waiting to see the first one...


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