British scientists have developed a new breed of hard drive that uses not spinning discs, but rather a rectangular platter and millions of moving data heads to read/write data. In theory, this could mean transfer speeds of 500 MB/s.
Register Hardwaresays that The Hard Rectangular Drive (HRD), developed by DataSlide, is roughly 4x faster than current HDDs, and uses the same process to manufacture CPUs for the data heads. Piezoelectric actuators are used to scan the data heads and access specific parts of the magnetically-encoded platter. At any one time, 64 data heads are able to simultaneously transfer data. It also only uses 4W of power, which makes it half as power thirsty as a SSD.
The current technology consists of a single platter in a 3.5-inch drive, though it will be possible to stack platters in the future. [Register Hardwarevia Fast Company]