Table G.1 summarises the characteristics of storage devices. It
reflects the state of technology in mid '95.
|mode||read/write many||read||read many/||read/write many|
In the near future, workstations are expected to be equipped with the same number of devices as today (i.e. still one hard disk, one CD drive), but of larger size or higher speed. In general, an improvement of 2 to 8-fold can be expected. Optical media, including CD, will profit from shorter wavelength lasers currently being developed in research labs, but it will take until '97 for higher capacity devices to reach the market.
Tapes will continue to be used for archival and backup storage mainly due to the slow sequential access. Their capacity will increase - 5 to 12 gigabyte ExaByte tapes have been presented. Some of the gain in capacity is the result of on-line compression.