HGST demos 600Gbit/in² disk density

HGST demos 600Gbit/in² disk density

Summary: Disk vendors have a rough idea of how other to reach 10 TB drives within 10 years. But what about 2 years?

TOPICS: Hardware

Disk vendors have a rough idea of how other to reach 10 TB drives within 10 years. But what about 2 years? Hitachi global storage technologies has announced that they have achieved 2 1/2 times the current commercial recording density in a laboratory demonstration.

What does that mean for you? How about a 1 TB 2 1/2 inch disk?

Multipronged approach To achieve vertical recording density of over 610 Gbit/per square inch the HGST engineers had to improve on existing technology. Current recording density is about 250 GB/per square inch.

In the laboratory demonstration the linear recording density is 1.6 million bits per inch and the track density is 381,000 tracks per inch. The read head has a width of 40 nm, a feature size smaller than Intel's latest CPU process technology.

Notable improvements that HGST made are:

  • Recording head. A finer head makes it possible to create a more tracks onto a disc and more bits per inch.
  • Media enhancements. HGST used a new recording medium called a graded media. graded media varies the size of the magnetic clusters based on their distance from the read/write head. The deeper and larger clusters are less sensitive to thermal instability while the smaller nearer clusters are more easily written. Magnetization travels down to the larger clusters to enhance data stability.
  • New parity codes. Low-density parity codes are slightly more efficient than Reed Solomon codes. They enable the recording density to be increased by about 4%.

The Storage Bits take Kudos to HGST for this demonstration. This technology will likely make its way into disks that you and I buy in 2-3 years.

These enhancements remind us that disk drive R&D continues to eke out significant density from a 50 year old technology.

Disk drives aren't dead yet. Of course, I hate the fact that this makes the 320 GB drive I put in my notebook today seem tiny.

Comments welcome, of course.

Topic: Hardware

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  • Oldie but a goodie

    I have a feeling that hard disks are going to be around for quite some time - even with the rise of hard disk sizes and lowering of price there are still robotic tape libraries that are being developed and sold.

    There will never be a one size fits all - which is why we have eSATA, Firewire and USB. In an ideal world there would be a silver bullet that does it all, but so far that hasn't been the case.
  • RE: HGST demos 600Gbit/in???? disk density

    Just to point out a typo:

    Title: "HGST demos 600Gbit/in?? disk density" should perhaps not read "bit" but "byte" or "B"?

    Later in the article:
    "To achieve vertical recording density of over 610 GB/per square inch . . ."

    Otherwise cool info.
    • Right you are!

      I'll fix. Thanks!

      R Harris
  • 2.5x from 1.5TB = under 4TB !

    I hear this one on IT news, couple days ago. Actually the max available is 1.5TB from Seagate (if is not out yet, it will be out this month). So taking 2.5x would be just 3.75TB, but isn't real TB since they still use that stupid "1000 bytes" thing, instead 1024 bytes.

    So, 1.5TB in reality will be almost 1.4TB (1.397TB max). Taking 2.5x will be just 3.5TB (3.492TB max), so 10TB barrier is still a long way to go, not saying the PRICE!
  • Some reengineering needed on the pipeline

    I prepared a 1TB SATA disk for use with encryption, and it took almost 30 hours for the disk to be formatted. While I love the space, the reality is that both the interfaces and the OS software has not kept pace with the storage density. And there are enough bugs in Windows NTFS to make using a single large volume to store millions of files a problem.

    So, when are disk makers and OS developers going to put in a little effort on these problems?
    terry flores