77:

Roman philosopher Pliny describes tally sticks

Numerical information recorded by notches carved in bone and wood

400:

Tiwanaku pottery depicts quipu storage device

Record keeping system used by the Incas is more than 4,000 years old

1801:

Punched cards control Jacquard loom

Joseph Jacquard’s punched cards program patterns on a weaving loom

1831:

Faraday describes electro-magnetic induction

Michael Faraday discovers two fundamental components of magnetic storage

1898:

Poulsen records voice on magnetic wire

Valdemar Poulsen records Emperor Franz Josef of Austria at Paris exhibition

1932:

Tauschek patents magnetic drum storage

Gustav Tauschek patents cylinder coated with ferromagnetic material

1935:

Audio recorder uses low-cost magnetic tape

AEG debuts the Magnetophon commercial audio tape recorder in Berlin

1946:

Williams demonstrates CRT storage

Cathode Ray Tube electrostatic effect enables random access memory

1949:

EDSAC computer employs delay-line storage

Mercury-filled delay line provides memory for first stored-program computer

1951:

Rabinow patents magnetic disk data storage

NBS researcher‘s notched disk memory informs the RAMAC design

1951:

Tape unit developed for data storage

Univac introduces magnetic tape media data storage machine

1951:

Storage subsystems emerge

Data processing systems integrate multiple forms of input and output

1953:

Transistors make fast memories

Solid-state devices improve speed, size & reliability of memory systems

1953:

Whirlwind computer debuts core memory

Magnetic cores provide a fast, reliable solution for computer main memory

1956:

Rotary-head delivers high-quality video

Quadruplex recorders serve as professional video standard for 25 years

1956:

First commercial hard disk drive shipped

Model 350 RAMAC unit stored the equivalent of 5 megabytes of data on 50 large disks

1961:

Flying heads improve HDD capacity & speed

Commercial success of the "slider" in the IBM 1301 established a model for the industry

1961:

HDD competitors enter the market

Bryant Computer Products introduces units storing up to 205 MB

1962:

Thin-film memory commercially available

Univac 1107 Thin-Film Memory computer announced

1962:

Disk packs offer portability & security

Interchangable packs spawn Plug Compatible Manufacturers (PCM)

1962:

Bulk storage systems add low-cost capacity

NCR CRAM was the “first commercially significant Bulk Storage Subsystem”

1965:

Semiconductor Read-Only-Memory arrays

Fixed semiconductor ROMs offer high density and low cost per bit

1965:

First cartridge HDD and voice coil actuator

IBM 2310 Ramkit pioneered HDD technology in small computer applications

1966:

Ferrite heads improve HDD speed & density

Recording density advances permit economical massive online storage

1967:

Magneto-Optical storage demonstrated

Magneto-Optical capacity outstripped magnetic disks in the 1980s

1968:

Memorex Introduces an IBM compatible HDD

Plug-compatible (PCM) disk-drive manufacturers proliferate

1970:

Semiconductors compete with magnetic cores

Intel DRAM is the first significant semiconductor challenge to core memory

1971:

Reusable semiconductor ROM introduced

User-erasable, programmable ROMs support microprocessor system design

1971:

Track-following servo quadruples HDD density

IBM 3330 incorporated important hardware and software advances

1971:

Floppy disk loads mainframe computer data

Small, removable flexible disks replace punched cards and paper tape

1972:

Optical Laser Disc Player is demonstrated

MCA and Philips develop laser technology for distributing consumer movies

1973:

"Winchester" pioneers key HDD technology

IBM 3340 employs new low-cost, low-load, landing read/write heads

1973:

CDC disk drive departs from IBM standards

First significant departure from the IBM HDD technology & media path

1976:

Minicomputers stimulate floppy disk sales

5.25 and 3.5-inch drives and media meet personal computer needs

1977:

Standards Accelerate Disk Drive Integration

Disk drive interfaces either become a standard or fail in the marketplace

1977:

Bubbles, CCDs & other forgotten memories

Experimental technologies that have been tried, tested and found wanting

1978:

Consortia pursue storage R&D projects

Academic, government & industry research consortia established

1979:

Thin-film heads introduced for large disks

Photolithography enables a new generation of high-density disk drives

1979:

Hard disk diameter shrinks to eight inches

Small business computers require smaller physical size HDDs

1979:

Philips demonstrates digital compact disc

CD-ROM emerges for software & video game distribution

1980:

Seagate 5.25-inch HDD becomes PC standard

Personal computer boosts HDD output to new levels of production

1982:

Film media increases disk storage density

Carbon coating enhances reliability of magnetic film media

1983:

Networked Storage Systems commercialized

VAXcluster allows sharing across a pool of block-level storage

1984:

Software increases hardware areal density

PRML techniques enhance magnetic media storage capacity

1984:

Tape cartridge improves ease of use

Magnetoresistive head & new media increase speed and density

1988:

U.C. Berkeley paper catalyses interest in RAID

Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks outperform mainframe drives

1988:

Miniature disk drives enable mobile computing

2.5” and smaller HDDs serve portable needs from notebooks to music players

1990:

Magnetoresistive read-head HDD introduced

MR, GMR & TMR heads deliver successive increases in storage density

1991:

Solid State Drive module demonstrated

Flash non-volatile memory developed for mass storage systems

1995:

Consumer CD-R drive priced below $1000

Recordable CDs replace magnetic floppy disks for portable storage

1996:

HDD shipments exceed 100 million units/year

One of the world's fastest growing industries through 1996

1997:

Tape storage thrives in archival applications

HP, IBM, and Seagate form Linear Tape-Open (LTO) consortium

2000:

Prototype blue laser disc stores HD video

Blue diode invention earns Japanese physicists Nobel Prize in Physics

2000:

Portable Personal Storage Devices

USB Flash “sticks” displace disks for portable computer data storage

2005:

Perpendicular Magnetic Recording arrives

PMR raises disk drive areal density above 100 gigabits per square inch

2006:

Storage in the cloud

Amazon announces remote access to low cost bulk storage

2014:

HDD areal density reaches 1 terabit/sq. in.

New technologies promise densities up to 10 terabits per square inch

2015:

Moore’s “Law” prevails for 50 years

Projection drove advances in semiconductor and magnetic storage