Toshiba makes a breakthrough in hard-drive capacity

Toshiba makes a breakthrough in hard-drive capacity
Future Toshiba drives could hold five times as much data using bit-patterned media technology.
(PhysOrg.com) -- Last Wednesday Toshiba made an announcement at the Magnetic Recording Conference in San Diego that they have made a breakthrough in their research of bit-patterned media that would result in enormous storage improvements for future hard drives.

Toshiba is currently developing a bit-patterned media that makes a smaller collection of grains that is used to record the magnetic charge for each bit. has currently achieved an of 2.5Tbit per square inch by using magnetic dots 17nm in size. This is equivalent to about 300GB stored in an area approximately the size of a postage stamp which is about five times of what is available today on high-capacity drives which store about 541Gb per square inch.

Currently Toshiba has only been able to detect the tracks on the prototype media and still needs to develop the technology for reading and writing to the tracks. If Toshiba succeeds in the bit-patterned media technology, they will have a head-start in producing ultra-high-capacity storage drives for those who need terabytes of data.

Research and creation of a prototype bit-patterned media has already been done by other manufactures before but Toshiba’s work represents the first time a prototype device has been created with the magnetic spheres aligned in a specific pattern. This alignment was missing from previous prototypes making it impossible to find where particular data is stored.

Toshiba's work is far from completion but the company claims that the first products using this technology won't be available until at least 2013. Toshiba claims to be a lot closer than others in their in gathering usable signals from data stored on the magnetic spheres through a specially constructed read/write head.


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Aug 24, 2010
Just a small thing, John, but when you include two numbers and use them in a comparative context, don't change the units. It defeats the point of comparing them.

Aug 24, 2010
Agreed, that was a horrible comparison jumping between units and postage stamps and square inches.... we've got Tbit, GB and Gb in the span of two sentences.

Anyway, it sounds like good progress by Toshiba... though I'm betting solid state will surpass in value and quality before too many more years pass.


Aug 24, 2010
I gave you both 5's -- but upon rereading I am sure you both noted that the comparison is acually made in the article
achieved an areal density of 2.5Tbit per square inch by using magnetic dots 17nm in size. This is equivalent to about 300GB stored in an area approximately the size of a postage stamp which is about five times of what is available today on high-capacity drives which store about 541Gb per square inch.


2.5Tbit per square inch -> is 5x -> 541Gb per square inch

Aug 24, 2010
IN CREASE THE FREAKING READ SPEEDS ALREADY!!

Aug 30, 2010
nematic liquid polymers could make this molecular instead of nanometered, suppose all that remains is making a sharp liquid-nanoprism waveguide to manipulate the data

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