Hard Drive Growth Marches On

Hard Drive (Image courtesy ibas Singapore)By Andrew Liszewski

We’ve come to expect hard drive capacities to increase every year but we usually forget that these increases are the result of constant research and technological innovation. For example a team of researchers from Toshiba and Tohoku University in Japan have created a new way to manufacture magnetic read heads that could drastically increase hard drive storage density. For comparison the current record for an actual shipping product is 178.8GB per square inch and is held by Toshiba but the new and improved read heads could push that beyond 1TB.

The new technology uses something called Nanocontact Magnetic Resistance or NC-MR to improve the performance of the drive head. So far drives in the lab have shown a manetoresistance ratio that’s twice as large as read heads currently used in hard drives. (That’s a good thing for those who might be as confused as I am.) Unfortunately Toshiba doesn’t expect the prototype drives using the NC-MR technology to leave the lab for at least 5 years so you might want to cut back on the torrenting for the time being.

[ New tech could lead to much bigger hard drives @ Ars Technica ]