Advanced Format Downloads

All Advanced Format Documentation

Introduction to Advanced Format

  • 4K Block Committee Accomplishment

    A brief presentation outlining the history and milestones achieved since the 1998 introduction of the long data sector concept, culminating in the successful completion of the technical work which defined the standards governing Generation One Advanced Format sector size technologies and their implementation.

  • Advanced Format - Are You Ready? Press Release

    The press release announcing the launch of the Generation One Advanced Format campaign, which included the Developer Kit program, Wikipedia entries and a series of exhibitions geared to educate the public about and promote the adoption of AF technology.

  • HDD Long Data Sector White Paper

    This paper summarizes the results of the IDEMA Long Data Sector (LDS) Committee that was started in 2000. Motivated by a 1998 NSIC Paper, in which the incompatibility of the areal density growth using the existing 512 byte-per-sector format in hard disk drives was identified, the IDEMA LDS Committee formed to determine the standards and support parameters for the 4,096 byte-per-sector format, which was renamed “Advanced Format” upon the official launch of the technology in June, 2010.

  • Advanced Format Readiness Checklist

    A list of critical items to check in order to help determine whether an OS, software program, system or other device using a HDD is optimized for Advanced Format-based HDDs. The checklist provides guidance for developers and HDD users who may need to take action to ensure their products, systems, solutions and/or services integrate the fundamental changes that may maximize performance from HDDs employing AF standards.

  • ISS Advanced Format Presentation

    Advanced Format overview presented by IDEMA at the Intel Solution Summit, March 2011.

  • AF in Legacy Infrastructure - More Transparent than Disruptive

    Curtis Stevens, Western Digital Corporation. This presentation provides the first glimpse into the future for Advanced Format in future recording technologies such as Shingled magnetic Recording. While the technical benefits of the AF 4K sector size, compatibility and integration consideration and emulation functionality are discussed, early insight into new capabilities being discussed in IDEMA committees is also provided. The presentation serves as an introduction to several of these technologies such as LBA Indirection, Trim, Unmap, Write Staging and other functions which are geared to enhance the operational efficiencies of future hard disk drives.

Advanced Format Standards

  • Formatting Cloning and Duplicating Advanced Format Media Technical Paper (AF Tech R1.0)

    The technical specification describing the standards for Advanced Format (AF) hard disk drives (HDDs) using the 4,096 byte-per-sector format as related to the formatting, cloning and duplication of AF-based HDDs. Details covered in the AF Tech R1.0 specification document include detection methods for AF HDDs equipped with SATA, SAS, USB, SCSI and IEEE1396 interfaces, alignment requirements to optimize performance from AF HDDs and a listing of which OSs partition and format using the prescribed AF detection methods.

  • LBA Count for Disk Drives Standards (IDEMA Standard LBA 1-03)

    The IDEMA Standard LBA 1-03 specification defines the requirements governing the methodology for calculating the number of Logical Block Addresses (LBAs) for a given capacity in gigabytes for data storage in hard disk drives. By standardizing LBA count, the Standard LBA 1-03 determines the way that storage capacity is referenced by HDD and system manufacturers, resulting in an industry standard method for communicating storage capacity in a consistent manner by HDD manufacturers.

Advanced Format History

  • IBM Task Force Findings - April 1998

    This historical document is a summary of the “IBM Task Force Findings” in which the issues related to areal density growth and its affect on error correction code (ECC) was first discussed. The “ECC- Capabilities, Overhead and Complexity -- M. Hassner” slide on page 5 was the technical motivation behind the initiative by Ed Grochowski (IBM-Research/IDEMA) and Martin Hassner (IBM-Research) to found the industry-wide hard disk drive committee for 4K. The committee was organized in conjunction with the IDEMA trade association in 2000 and became the IDEMA Long Data Sector (LDS) Committee. Upon launch of the standard the committee name was changed to IDEMA Advanced Format Committee.

  • Large Data Block Size NSIC898

    The Large Data Block Size presentation is a cornerstone document which called industry attention to the need for a sector format beyond the established, 512 byte-per-sector standard. The presentation was delivered at the NSIC meeting on August 27, 1998 by IBM representatives, and outlined error rate dependence on SNR & ECC (Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Error Correction Code) block size and provided format assumptions for 100 Gigabits-per-square-inch areal density. The authors outline the expected formatted capacity gain that could be achieved by using larger block sizes.

  • NSIC Large Block Size White Paper Draft

    Original white paper proposal for increasing block size recorded on disks from the pervasive 512 bytes to a larger size, initially 4096 bytes.

Long Data Block Symposium 2007

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Long Data Block Symposium & 1K/4K Summit 2005

  • Transition Requirements: Lessons Learned from Serial ATA

    Focusing on the historical background of interface adoption, this presentation presses the need for backward compatibility in any given technology, including those involving long data sector technologies. Intel concludes by committing to provide the hard disk drive industry support for the transition from 512 to 4K byte-per-sector, with the understanding that backward compatibility would be provided. This document and other industry input motivated the IDEMA Long Data Sector Committee to define and develop the standards which became known as emulation.

  • Olsson & Luber: Microsoft Support for Large-Sector Drives

    A presentation from Microsoft where Microsoft agrees to work with the hard disk drive (HDD) industry in order to provide support for long data sectors. Concern for data integrity during “dirty shutdowns” and power loss events is addressed via alignment methods and actions involving further investigation and testing.

  • Sawaguchi: Evaluation of HDD SNR/Capacity Gains from 4KB-Block Format ECC

    A technical presentation from Hitachi which proposes 4K byte sectors as the recommended format for standardization by the IDEMA Long Data Sector Committee. The presentation provides SNR (Signal-to-Noise ratio) coding gains and format efficiency gains for 4K block format.

  • Stevens: Large Sector Sizes: A Drive Vendor's Perspective

    Presentation identifying the need for larger sector sizes while raising the issue of 512 byte hard-wired dependencies within the food-chain. Proposes solutions for minimizing disruption during the transition.

  • Silvus and Vityaev: And One Large Sector Size for All

    A technical presentation which confirms the storage capacity gains in a hard disk drive (HDD) utilizing a 4K over the traditional 512 byte-per-sector format. Broadcom also concludes that the HDD SoC (System-on-a-Chip) differs based on the physical sector size of the HDD and recommends the industry, including HDDs, OSs and BIOSs to move to a single long data sector size that standardizes around the 4,096 byte-per-sector architecture.

  • 4K Block Format Efficiency and SNR Gain

    A technical presentation from Hitachi which proposes 4K byte sectors as the recommended format for standardization by the IDEMA Long Data Sector Committee. Research into possible error correction code (ECC) schemes and their complexity is discussed in conjunction with the Bit Error Rate (BER) and defect correction improvements which may be derived from each option.

  • Longhorn Large Sector Size Support

    This presentation provides a historical overview of OS support for Large Sector Size Drives, and outlines requirements for Longhorn support, including dates and schedule for upcoming work.

Advanced Format Atom