The storage devices are one of the integral parts of the computer systems. As the name suggests, the tools are used to store data or information on the computer. You can save the data either temporarily or permanently on these devices. The internal devices can be either external or internal in the computing systems.
The storage devices can be divided into two sections, which are secondary storage devices and primary storage devices. The secondary devices are used to store the data permanently, and they arrive with a larger capacity. They can be both external and internal in the computer systems. Some example of the type includes the hard disk, USB drive, compact disc, etc.
On the other hand, the primary storage devices are made to hold temporary data, and they are smaller in size. They are generally found inside the computer, and they assist the apps in loading faster on your computer. Some examples of the primary devices can be the RAM and cache memory.
4 Examples of Storage Devices
- Magnetic storage devices
- Optical storage devices
- Flash memory devices
- Online and cloud Storage
The storage devices can also be divided into groups based on their functionality. Check the detailed Examples of Storage Devices that is given Below.
# Magnetic storage devices
Once upon a time, the most common type of storage used in the computer is the magnetic storage devices. They can be still found in the hybrid hard drives or extremely large HDDs
1. Floppy diskette
The floppy diskette is also called a floppy, FD, Floppy disk. It is a type of storage device which uses magnetic storage technology to store the data. The disks were very popular in the early days as a common medium of computer storage. They have been vastly used during 1970 to the ending of the 21st century. When first established, they were 8-inches in size, but they become smaller with times around 5-1/4 and 3-1/2-inch versions.
The floppy disk was so popular that still a lot of software and electronic programs use the floppy disc icon as the save icon. The floppy disc still used in some functions such as the legacy industrial computer equipment. However, the introduction of USB drives, optical discs, flash storage cards, and other flexible devices.
2. Hard drive
The hard drive is also known as Hard disk drive, fixed disk, hard disc, etc. name. It is an electro-mechanical device used for storing that data. It uses magnetic storage to save and retrieve the data. There can be one or more rotating platters that will be rotate rapidly and coated with magnetic material. In the hard drive, data can be accessed in a random-access manner, which means the individual blocks can be retrieved and stored in any order.
The HDD was first introduced in 1956 by IBM. They have been one of the powerful general-purpose secondary storage devices from the 1960s. The hard drive is still used as the main secondary storage in personal and server computers. Mainly, the HDD is produced in large volumes for personal computing devices. There are more than 224 manufacturers that currently produce the hard drive.
3. Magnetic strip
The magnetic stripe card is a variant of card than can let you store data by customizing the magnetism of its tiny iron-based magnetic particles. These variants of the storage device are not that used in personal or business computers. Instead, they are used in identity cards, credit cards, transportation tickets, etc. devices. The transponder device, microchip, RFID tag, etc. can also contain business premises.
The magnetic tape was first introduced centuries ago in Denmark, even before the computer. They were used for recording audio in that period. However, a magnetic record that can record computer data was first established during 1950. It is basically a plastic tape that is coated with iron oxide. Later, IBM, in 1960, developed the device for better performance.
The international organization for standardization currently defines the physical property of the device, including the flexibility, size, location of the stripe, characteristics, data format, etc. The newest example of the storage device can be the smart cards that contain an integrated circuit along with the stripe.
The SuperDisk is a high-capacity and high-speed storage device that was invented during 2003. It was an alternative of the floppy disk, which was smaller in size, around 90 mm. The manufacturer 3M created it. The product becomes prevalent in Asia and Australia. The disk was one of the last breeds of the floptical technology, where the laser is used to guide the magnetic head.
5. Tape cassette
Though the tape cassette is popular in the name, the real name of the storage device is Compact Cassette or Music Cassette. They are also known as an audio cassette, or simply cassette or tape. It is a type of the analog magnetic tape which is also used on the playback and audio recording. The device was developed by the manufacturer Phillips and introduced during 1963.
The cassette can arrive at two forms, one of them which comes with the prerecorded content cassette, and the form is a fully recordable blank cassette. The device was mainly developed for the dictation machine. But the enhancement infidelity makes the device a suitable choice for stereo eight tracks.
6. Zip diskette
The zip discs are one type of floppy device, and the manufacturer Iomega first introduced it during 1994. One of the impressive things about the device arrived with higher capacity when compared to the other types of the floppy disc. The first zip disc arrived with 100 MB capacity, and later, it becomes bigger around 750 MB. The high capacity but the smaller size of the product also makes it very popular during 1990.
# Optical storage devices
The optical storage devices use lasers and lights as a method of data reading and writing. Optical storage devices are mainly used for storing audio or video records. Below, we will let you know about the different variants of optical storage devices.
1. Blu-ray disc
The Blu-ray disc is an optical storage data format that arrived as an ancestor of the DVD. The impressive thing about the device is it was capable of storing high-quality long videos. The primary uses of the disc are for feature films. The disc is also used in the distribution of video games in different PlayStation and Xbox models. The name Blu-ray arrives from the blue laser (though it is violet) that was used to read the disc.
The violet laser was capable of storing the data in a higher density with a broader wavelength. Typically, the discs are 4.7 inches in length and 1.2mm in thickness, same as the DVD drives. The Blu-ray disc was capable of holding 25gb data in one layer and 50gb in two and 100gb in triple-layer discs. It is still used broadly to store high-definition and high fps videos.
2. CD-ROM disc
The full form of CD-ROM is a compact disc read-only memory. The disc was capable of containing data, and it was both readable and writable. The CD-ROM was vastly used during the ’90s for manufacturing data and software for computers. They were also used for manufacturing the fourth-generation video game consoles. Some of them were capable of holding both audio and data in a larger capacity.
The CD-ROM was first introduced by the Japanese manufacturer Denon during 1982. The variant of the memory storage was basically an extension of the Compact Disc Digital audio. It was capable of holding data of any digital format, and the capacity of the disc was 553 mb. Data can be stored as well as retrieved in the CD-ROM in a similar order.
3. CD-R and CD-RW disc
The CD-R and CD-RW disc mean compact disc- writable and compact disc – rewritable. One of the most exciting things about CD-R and CD-RW is they are incredibly cheap. Even the highest quality one from the top manufacturer will cost you around $0.10. There are the different developed versions of the disc, which include DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW disc. They can also be a good amount of data and information.
# Flash memory devices
Flash memory has outranked the magnetic and optical media currently because of the affordable price and efficient and dependable performance. Nowadays, they are vastly used in our regular life.
1. USB flash drive
The USB Flash device is a data storage device that arrives with an integrated USB interface along with flash memory. They are rewritable and removable as much time as the user wants. They came in the market in 2000, and since then, the price of the storage devices dropped on a large scale, and the storage capacity is increased. The USB flash drive is tiny in size, but they are capable of storing data on a large scale up to 2 Terabits.
The USB drives are vastly used for a lot of purposes, including data store, backup, transfer, and other purposes. When compared with the other storage devices, the USB drives are extremely small but faster in speed and prominent in size. More so, they don’t get affected by electromagnetic interference and don’t cause any scratch on the surface. They are also supported by almost all the native operating systems available nowadays.
2. CF (CompactFlash)
The CF or CompactFlash is mass memory storage that is used in varieties of electronic devices to store the data. SanDisk first manufactured the device. They have become extremely successful due to their smaller size but large capacity. They are even smaller than the USB drive but operates at a faster speed. They can arrive in different formats, including SD, MMC, memory stick formats, and others.
The CompactFlash is extremely popular until now and vastly used by many high-end consumer-grade and professional-grade electronic devices. Notably, they are used in the digital and DSLR cameras for storing photos in the cameras of all famous brands. The next generation of the CompactFlash arrived in 2010, which is better, faster, and more significant in capacity than the previous variation.
The M.2 was previously known as the Next Generation Form Factor, which replaced the mSATA standard of the drive. In general, the M.2 is more famous for solid-state storage applications as well as for smaller computers such as tablets and notebooks. The M.2 SSDs are capable of functioning high-data transfer speed. However, they are limited to the maximum speed of SATA, which is 699 MB/s.
4. Memory card
The memory card, also known as memory cartridge, is an electronic data storage that is used for storing data by implementing the flash memory. They are vastly used by portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, computers, digital cameras, portable media players, PDAs, tablets, video game consoles, digital pianos, electric keyboards, synthesizers, and other devices.
The memory card was first invented by the legendary Japanese Engineer Fujio Masuoaka at Toshiba during 1980. They became commercially available by the company in 1987. The first commercially available card format was known as PC cards. The operations of different electronic and digital devices are currently highly dependent on the memory card.
Some other variations of the flash memory devices include MMC, SDHC card, NVMe, Sony Memory Stick, SmartMedia card, MMC, SSD, XD picture card, etc.
# Online and cloud Storage
Online and cloud storage is becoming popular nowadays as they offer better flexibility, scalability, and adaptability. They arrive with a lot of advantages which make them an excellent choice for some specific fields.
1. Cloud storage
Cloud storage is the practice of storing data on remote servers through the internet. The cloud storage is maintained and operated by the service provider. What makes the idea of cloud storage popular is its advantages. They include affordability, security, higher internet utilization, adaptability, and much more. It also makes automation and sharing easier when compared with the other storage model.
The cloud storage is based on visuals. However, there are still needs of the physical drives which need to be stored somewhere. The customer cannot know the location of the servers, but they can access the data anytime they want through the online gateway. There are some issues about the cloud storage that needs to be solved to release the full potential of it.
2. Network media
The network media is the procedure of interconnecting the nodes on a computer network for the communication channels. The networks are based on the copper coaxial cables, optical fiber cables, twisted pair cables, etc. It is not like the physical storage devices, as we mentioned above.
The computer systems are all about data and information which needed to be stored somewhere on the computer. The development of the various types of storage devices makes it easier for us to store the data. Hopefully, the above introduction on the example of the storage devices will be valuable for you.