Carbon nanotubes could allow for huge increases in storage

Carbon nanotubes could allow for huge increases in storage

Summary: Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has submitted a patent application that uses carbon nanotubes technology which could allow for a ten-fold increase in hard drive capacity.

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TOPICS: Big Data
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Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has submitted a patent application that uses carbon nanotubes technology which could allow for a ten-fold increase in hard drive capacity.

The nanotubes slowly leak a vapor lubricant  – but that is just part of the plan.  Seagate's patent describes how this technology could be used in conjunction with a technology called HAMR (which stands for Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) where a laser could be used to heat a small portion of the surface of the platter, which would allow more data to be packed onto the surface. 

The HAMR idea is based on properties already well-known and could allow for data densities of several terabits per square inch, but the problem with heating the platter is that this would cause the coating of lubrication on the platter to evaporate and make it prone to head crashes.  What Seagate hope to do is use a reservoir of carbon nanotubes to hold the lubricant.  When the laser is used to heat the reservoir, small amounts of lubricant are released by the nanotubes to replenish areas depleted of lubricant in about 10 milliseconds and allows for the head to write the data to the platter without damage. The drives are sealed so that the lubricant can't escape and the nanotube reservoir would last for the life of the drive.

This sounds really interesting, especially if combined with perpendicular drive technology.  I'm glad to see that Seagate is making sure that they'll have hard drives big enough for my storage needs is a few year's time!

Topic: Big Data

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3 comments
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  • Ok, I can use a 5 TB hard drive right about now

    I want this now!
    georgeou
  • Reliability?

    Anyone have a subjective feeling that hard drives are less reliable now than they were when their capacities were smaller?

    Last year we had several maxtor diamond max 9s die (200gig as i recall), three of which were in a 3-disk raid 5 on a multimedia workstation. I was absolutely furious we wasted money on a raid card only to have the whole array collapse.

    Previous to that, when IBM introduced their 120 gig drives we also jumped at the chance and used them in multimedia machines... guess what, they were called deathstars for a reason.

    And yet, I have 2 40 gig maxtors in a PC at home. It runs 24x7 as Raid 1 without issue for about 3 years now and they are so hot it's uncomfortable to keep your palm on them. Go figure, I wasted a raid card on those too!
    ITTech001
  • Doomed to Failure

    Its obvious by reading the patent Seagate
    has gone of the track.

    The patent shows little understanding of physics, thermodynamics, and materials science.

    Give it up Seagate, ferromagnetics has reached the limit and using the Holland Boy with his magical finger wont save the technology from designed obsolescence.
    grey_eminence