Hitachi has broken the record for data density in a hard drive thanks to an innovative way of storing data.
Most hard drives stores data by writing it onto the top of a disc horizontally. This new method allows the data to be written vertically into the disc, allowing much higher levels of storage.
"We are at the cusp of the most significant hard drive technology transition of the past decade, and it's one that holds so much promise for the hard drive and consumer electronics industries," said Jun Naruse, CEO, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.
"As the biggest supplier of small-form-factor hard drives, 2.5 inch and below, consumers' demand for storing more data on smaller devices has provided a strong impetus for us to pursue perpendicular recording with a greater sense of urgency."
While traditional horizontal data writing is the predominant form of data storage researchers believe this technology will reach its limit at about 120GB per inch squared. The new drives are capable of 230GB per inch squared, compact enough to build a 20GB mini iPod or a terabyte 3.5 inch drive.
Hitachi believes the first of the new hard drives will be shipped by the end of this year as a 2.5 inch drive for notebooks or consumer devices. Testers are already using notebooks equipped with the drives.
"I have been engaged in magnetic recording research since 1951 and found that the most important subject in this field is high-density recording," said Professor Iwasaki, president and chief director of Japan's Tohoku Institute of Technology and one of the first to use the new drives.
"Around 1975, I began to feel that the vertical direction was the right way to go to attain high-density recording, and began leading the activities to make perpendicular recording a practical technology. I am very glad to see that the technology will come into use soon."
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