This week the news seems to be all about hard drive manufacturers pushing the limits and getting big results. Today Western Digital announced that it broke a record for hard drive density. They accomplished the milestone by using their own perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)/tunneling magneto-resistive (TuMR) technology, and achieved 520 Gb/in2 areal density in a demonstration. Why is this important? Because, this is the highest density ever reached using continuous media. It produces a 3.5-inch hard drive that stores 640 GB per platter as well as single hard drive capacities as large as 3 TB. If you are doing the math, that’s more than double today’s max of 200 GB per square inch.
Following an earlier demonstration in California, they announced the news this week at the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference in Tokyo. As usual you won’t be able to get one overnight.(Though that would be nice.) They estimate a release date sometime in 2010.
This news comes on the heels of Hitachi’s announcement of a 4TB drive by 2011. Where will all this lead? To more storage of course. It will be interesting to see where it all goes and how quickly we get there.