TDK sees hard drive breakthrough in areal density

Oct 03, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
TDK sees hard drive breakthrough in areal density
The magnetic head for thermal assist recording. Credit: via Tech-on.

(Phys.org)—TDK has realized increased areal density of its hard disk drives. TDK has set a new record, compared to previous areal density at 1Tbit/inch2, with the new stat of increased density to 1.5Tbits/inch2. The point of all this is that TDK can say it will offer 1TB of storage per platter in a 2.5-inch hard drive, and 2TB of storage per platter in a 3.5-inch drive. TDK used a technique that combines platter technology from Japanese firm Showa Denko (Showa Denko Platters) with their refined read-write heads. Showa Denko's disk platter is based on perpendicular magnetic recording with discrete track recording (DTR) superimposed on it.

Perpendicular recording was an idea that languished for many years, says a TDK technology backgrounder, because the complexity of high-density magnetic recording technology stymied commercial development. "This method demands highly sophisticated thin-film process technologies to form microscopic single poles between multiple thin layers. Beyond that, a number of complex issues arise when trying to miniaturize single poles," said TDK. "One particularly difficult problem is overcoming pole erasure, the deletion of due to remanent magnetization at the tip of the pole."

As magnetic head manufacturers, TDK says it is now drawing on nano-level thin-film multilayering and processing technologies that clear the technological hurdles one by one.

TDK features a Tunneling Magneto-Resistance (TMR) head , which uses thermal assist recording and a near-light field. (Researchers from Hitachi describe thermally assisted recording as an extension to perpendicular magnetic recording. In thermally-assisted recording, says Hitachi, magnetic grains can be made smaller while still resisting at room temperature.)

Consumers are to see these hard drives using thermal assisted magnetic heads in 2014. Before that, though, TDK will officially unveil its new hard- this week at 2012. At CEATEC, the company will also show a thermal assist recording method based on near-field light by using an actual HDD supporting the method.

A significant side story belongs to Showa Denko, which, among other divisions, engages in hard disk media. Showa Denko also has a confident grasp of the disk drive market: "We expect that demand for hard disk drives (HDDs) will continue to grow by about 10 percent annually. "

Hard disk drives for years have been a dominant device for storage of data. Greater capacities and lower prices have kept the hard drive from falling victim to SSD technology. Showa Denko believes HDDs still have nowhere to go but up because of notebook demand, cloud computing, and current requirements for high-capacity servers at data centers, expected to increase.

To meet the demand, the company intends to "speedily commercialize the sixth-generation PMR () media, and develop the next-generation SWR (shingled-write recording) media."

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More information:

via Tech-on

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User comments : 10

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Smarrelli
not rated yet Oct 03, 2012
Could someone please explain what exactly this means for the consumer? Does it essentially just allow for larger storage in an individual hard drive?

Does this have any affect on read/write speed? Cost-wise, where should we expect these to fit?
PPihkala
5 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2012
Could someone please explain what exactly this means for the consumer? Does it essentially just allow for larger storage in an individual hard drive?

Yes
Does this have any affect on read/write speed? Cost-wise, where should we expect these to fit?

Probably speed will be the same or increase. Cost per bit will probably be the same or less. If it would not be competive, it would not be used.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2012
$2,000 for a 400 Gigabyte SSD, about $4,000 for an 800 gigabyte SSD. As popularity results in production volume increases, those prices will come down, and terabyte SSD's are just around the corner. They cannot be beat for speed and power efficiency. Stick it out and wait.
packrat
1.7 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2012
While the prices will eventually come down, it's still going to be quite some time before they will beat hard drives for cost effectiveness in average business or consumer use. A 1 terabyte hard drive is only $100 now. A SSD is great for pads and laptops but for a desktop or average server system the hard drive is a much better deal. That is changing somewhat with some of the newer real time large database systems though. SSD's are already being incorporated into those systems and hardware. It's worth the extra cost for those with the speed gains.
Urgelt
4.3 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2012
Apart from being pricier, SSD tech has a way to go to match HDD. SSD is faster, which is good, and silent, which is also good, but the current read-write limits of SSDs don't compare favorably to HDD yet, and though SSD density has been improving, it's still lagging behind HDD.

When SDD can match HDD for read-write operations (durability), density, and price, HDD will be finished. That's likely a few years away, at least. HDD manufacturers are presenting a moving target that's not easy to beat.
mrlewish
5 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2012
$2,000 for a 400 Gigabyte SSD, about $4,000 for an 800 gigabyte SSD. As popularity results in production volume increases, those prices will come down, and terabyte SSD's are just around the corner. They cannot be beat for speed and power efficiency. Stick it out and wait.


Sorta. You don't need that much SSD. You probably need enough to run the operating system and a few other things that need information quickly.
OmagaIII
3 / 5 (2) Oct 04, 2012
$2,000 for a 400 Gigabyte SSD, about $4,000 for an 800 gigabyte SSD. As popularity results in production volume increases, those prices will come down, and terabyte SSD's are just around the corner. They cannot be beat for speed and power efficiency. Stick it out and wait.


Not quite, for the budding engineers the speed of SSD can be beat... For much less, and at higher speeds than what SSD can deliver. SSD is a marketing gimmick as far as performance goes and is mostly reserved for desktop 'enthusiasts' who in most cases are none the wiser and are willing to spend thousands of dollars every year or 2.

For the High end server markets that guys like my self services, SSD just isn't worth the cost as I can build a unit that will give better performance, more space and a more stable environment using traditional tech.

What is happening that might really help is the integration of SSD on these new storage devices. But till such time that prices drop, we ain't buying.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2012
You don't need that much SSD. You probably need enough to run the operating system and a few other things that need information quickly.

Yes. Storing your movies and music unless you're into editing them) on an SSD is a waste of money. The added speed of the SSD doesn't give you any benefit there.
The OS and large executables and programs with lots of plugins (e.g. Office suites, editing software, etc.) benefit from an SSD.
PhotonX
1 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2012
A 1 terabyte hard drive is only $100 now.
Yes indeed. Just for the record, 2TB drives are just now sneaking up to the $100 price point (October 2012). Doesn't seem that long ago that I was waiting for prices to break 1GB/$ before springing for a new drive.
Bowler_4007
1 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2012
A 1 terabyte hard drive is only $100 now.
Yes indeed. Just for the record, 2TB drives are just now sneaking up to the $100 price point (October 2012). Doesn't seem that long ago that I was waiting for prices to break 1GB/$ before springing for a new drive.
it hasn't been long hdd capacities have climbed extremely quickly by 2020 I wouldn't be surprised to see drives approaching 100s of TBs

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