Seagate announced today that it became the first hard drive maker to achieve the storage density of 1 terabit per square inch. The company claims the technology will double the storage capacity of today's hard drives upon its introduction later this decade. This means 3.5-inch hard drives may store up to 60 terabytes in the next 10 years.
Seagate used a next-generation recording technology it calls heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) rather than the current technology, Perpendicular magnetic Recording (PMR) to achieve this feat.
“Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content,” said Mark re, senior vice president of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate.
As Seagate explains it:
"Hard drive manufacturers increase areal density and capacity by shrinking a platter’s data bits to pack more within each square inch of disk space. They also tighten the data tracks, the concentric circles on the disk’s surface that anchor the bits. The key to areal density gains is to do both without disruptions to the bits’ magnetization, a phenomenon that can garble data. Using HAMR technology, Seagate has achieved a linear bit density of about 2 million bits per inch, once thought impossible, resulting in a data density of just over 1 trillion bits, or 1 terabit, per square inch – 55 percent higher than today’s areal density ceiling of 620 gigabits per square inch."
While it's fascinating that hard drives will be improving so vastly in the near future, it's not really unexpected, and Seagate has always been an industry leader when it comes to hard drive storage and speed. What I want to see is a hard drive large enough, durable enough, and safe enough to install as a cyber-brain.