IDEMA Concludes "Are You Ready?" Campaign After Successful Industry Adoption of Hard Disk Drive Sector Format Change

Advanced Format Technology Now Laying the Foundation for Future Breakthroughs

Sep 15, 2011, 08:00 ET from IDEMA

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEMA (The International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association) today announced the successful conclusion of the "Are You Ready?" campaign, an effort which focused on helping the computer industry prepare for the transition of hard disk drives (HDD) to long data sectors using a technology referred to as Advanced Format (AF).  IDEMA is the data-storage industry's trade association dedicated to driving technology standards that support the advancement of data storage.  Working in collaboration with the leading HDD suppliers, the IDEMA "Are You Ready?" campaign launched in July 2010 to facilitate adoption of HDD processing changes from the historical sector lengths of 512 to increments of 4,096 bytes per sector based on Advanced Format standards.  Today, all major PC manufacturers are shipping systems that employ Advanced Format HDDs and every OS supplier has integrated the technology into multiple, currently available OS platforms.  

The "Are You Ready?" campaign officially concludes with the 2011 Storage Developer Conference from September 19 to 22 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, Calif., where the IDEMA Advanced Format Marketing Work Group will discuss the role of Advanced Format in future storage technology breakthroughs.  The Group will also meet with industry partners to place Developer Kits and launch the latest addition to the AF logo program, which will help customers recognize HDDs with Advanced Format capabilities.  

Advanced Format enables increases in hard drive storage capacities while maintaining the integrity of the data stored on and processed by the drive. The presence of 4,096 byte sectors, or 4K, affects all software and hardware components that interact with the HDD.  "IDEMA recognized the significance of this technology and began working with the hard drive community in 2000 to define the standards necessary for widespread adoption of the technology," stated Mark Geenen, Chairman of IDEMA. "Definition of the supporting standards naturally led to market-based initiatives to implement the technology.  With industry adoption achieved, IDEMA is turning its attention to how the Advanced Format methods of drive interaction form the basis for future innovations."  

"The AF education work is leading us towards more productive partner discussions as the HDD industry embraces Shingle Magnetic Recording and other future technologies that involve methods by which logical blocks of storage are used," said Curtis Stevens, chairperson of the IDEMA Shingled Magnetic Recording Work Group and lead standards engineer at Western Digital.  "The Advanced Format working group, and specifically the 'Are You Ready' campaign, have been key in raising awareness that the old 512 bytes per sectors are giving way to a larger physical sector sizes," concluded Stevens.

Where to Find More About Advanced Format

As part of the "Are You Ready?" campaign, IDEMA and HDD suppliers authored two Wikipedia entries; Advanced Format and Disk Sector, which describe and explain Advanced Format technology with background and illustrations.  The IDEMA web site provides further information on the technology as well as presentations, logo explanations and a library of documents from a wide variety of industry leaders and component suppliers.  

Following the Storage Developers Conference, IDEMA will continue to work with hard disk drive manufacturers to support Advanced Format technology.  "IDEMA is committed to serving the industry by supplying information necessary to maintain a high level of understanding about Advanced Format and enhance industry familiarity with the technology.  We have now established a solid baseline off which future advancements that utilize Advanced Format can be established and used to benefit the storage community," continued Geenen.


The International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association, founded in 1986, is the global trade group for the $45 Billion storage device industry. With offices in San Jose, Tokyo, and Singapore, IDEMA hosts premier trade shows, conferences, and symposia on storage technologies and markets and is the mainstay of industry technical standards and marketing initiatives.

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