The early development of computer disk storage, caching and RAID technology

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 17:30
TH 331
Steve Goldman, founder (Distributed Processing Technology)

In April 1974, Intel introduced the 8080 8-bit microprocessor, the world’s first commercially-successful microprocessor chip. Because of its small size and cost, it was now possible to distribute intelligence to peripheral devices which could implement sophisticated algorithms for managing data storage and retrieval. In 1977 Distributed Processing Technology was founded to explore and develop new intelligent peripheral controller and subsystem architectures, thereby “distributing” the processing to intelligent peripheral controllers. This talk will trace the development of these architectures, and associated standards such as the Small Computer Systems Interface or “SCSI”.


Steve Goldman is a world-recognized expert and pioneer in computer storage technology including disk caching and RAID. In 1977, Steve Goldman founded Distributed Processing Technology (DPT), the first company to develop and manufacture intelligent storage controllers for the computer industry. In the 1980's, he helped create several computer interface standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) including the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI). In 2000, Mr. Goldman retired from the computer industry to pursue his interest in STEM education.

DPT was an early pioneer in computer storage technology, popularizing the use of disk caching in the 1980s and 1990s. DPT was the first company to design, manufacture and sell microprocessor-based intelligent disk controllers to the OEM computer market. Prior to DPT, disk caching technology had been implemented in proprietary hardware in mainframe computing to improve the speed of disk access. DPT's products popularized the use of disk caching and RAID.

Associated articles by Mr. Goldman:
February 1983 Mini-Micro Systems - Floppy Controller Speeds Access with Cache
June 1983 Digital Design - Disk Controller Unburdens Real Time Applications
September 1984 Digital Design - Caching Disk Controller Relieves System Bottlenecks