Types Of Data Storage Devices

What are the different types of data storage devices? Many different types of data storage devices have all come a long way since the punchcard and dot matrix printer of the early years of computing. As far back as 1958 computers used magnetic drums for storage, for instance the UNIVAC mainfraim computer’s magnetic drum storage held a whopping 10kb of data. Even as technology progressed, punch cards and punch tapes (similar to punchcards but in tape form for better data flow) were used as late as the 70’s for both data input and data output.

Even though magnetic types of date storage devices were invented back in the 1950’s, it didn’t seem much use in the private sector until recently. The diskette, also known as the floppy disk, was invented in the 1960’s and were commercially available by the 1970’s. They consisted of a magnetic medium sanwiched into a plasticsleeve. As these types of devices got better, they also got smaller. The floppy came in 8 inch, 5 1/4 inch, and 3 1/2 models with the 8 inch never really becoming popular and later droped in favor of the higher capacity 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch disks. Floppies are still found in most modern computers by default and are of the 3 1/2 inch size, which with today’s data storage device methods, allow them to hold a total of 1.44 megabytes of data.

Where most of today’s types of data storage devices are stored is on a magnetic disk medium called the hard disk drive. IBM pioneered the use of the hard disc drive in 1956 and it’s continued on strong today with almost every home computer on the market having at least 1 HDD and in some cases an entire array of them to provide storage. Hard Disc Drives can also be found in USB external drives.Though it’s capacity started low, the hard disk drive has made leaps and bounds towards maximum capacity with 60 terabyte single unit hard disk drives coming out next year.

Optical disks made their debut into the commercial type of data storage device realm in 1968 but did not gain popularity with the home user until the 1990’s as personal computers became more popular. Optical disks are broken down into the following types: CD (compact disc), CD-R (recordable), CD-RW (re-writable), DVD (digital video disc), DVD-R (recordable), DVD-RW (re-writable), Blueray Disc. Optical discs are popular for thier ability to store large amounts of data for a very long time without degrading and their uses in the entertainment arena of music and movies.

Flash memories are purely electronic types of data storage devices. Where the previous data storage devices all required special enclosures and were suseptible to mechanical failures, Flash memory can be found in many off the shelf devices you use everyday. USB drives, computer memory, Solid State Hard Discs (SDD), PDAs (personal data assistants), and memory cards all utilize flash memory to store their data. You can find Flash Memory in just about any electronic date storage devices you use. Though reliable, Flash Memory has a finite number of times you may write or erase data before the data starts to degrade.