Monday, March 19th 2012

Seagate Reaches 1 Tb Per Square Inch Milestone in HDD Storage with New Technology

Seagate has become the first hard drive maker to achieve the milestone storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, producing a demonstration of the technology that promises to double the storage capacity of today's hard drives upon its introduction later this decade and give rise to 3.5-inch hard drives with an extraordinary capacity of up to 60 terabytes over the 10 years that follow. The bits within a square inch of disk space, at the new milestone, far outnumber stars in the Milky Way, which astronomers put between 200 billion and 400 billion.

Seagate reached the landmark data density with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), the next-generation recording technology. The current hard drive technology, Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), is used to record the spectrum of digitized data - from music, photos, and video stored on home desktop and laptop PCs to business information housed in sprawling data centers - on the spinning platters inside every hard drive. PMR technology was introduced in 2006 to replace longitudinal recording, a method in place since the advent of hard drives for computer storage in 1956, and is expected to reach its capacity limit near 1 terabit per square inch in the next few years.

"The growth of social media, search engines, cloud computing, rich media and other data-hungry applications continues to stoke demand for ever greater storage capacity," said Mark Re, senior vice president of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate. "Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content."

Hard drive manufacturers increase areal density and capacity by shrinking a platter's data bits to pack more within each square inch of disk space. They also tighten the data tracks, the concentric circles on the disk's surface that anchor the bits. The key to areal density gains is to do both without disruptions to the bits' magnetization, a phenomenon that can garble data. Using HAMR technology, Seagate has achieved a linear bit density of about 2 million bits per inch, once thought impossible, resulting in a data density of just over 1 trillion bits, or 1 terabit, per square inch - 55 percent higher than today's areal density ceiling of 620 gigabits per square inch.

The maximum capacity of today's 3.5-inch hard drives is 3 terabytes (TB), at about 620 gigabits per square inch, while 2.5-inch drives top out at 750 gigabytes (GB), or roughly 500 gigabits per square inch. The first generation of HAMR drives, at just over 1 terabit per square inch, will likely more than double these capacities - to 6 TB for 3.5-inch drives and 2 TB for 2.5-inch models. The technology offers a scale of capacity growth never before possible, with a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch - 30 TB to 60 TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10 TB to 20 TB for 2.5-inch drives.

The 1 terabit per square inch demonstration extends a long line of storied technology firsts for Seagate, including:

- 1980: ST-506, the first hard drive, at 5.25 inches, small enough to be widely deployed in early microcomputers, the precursor of the modern PC. The 5 megabyte drive cost $1,500.

- 1992: The first 7200 RPM hard drive, a Barracuda drive

- 1996: The first 10,000 RPM hard drive, a Cheetah drive

- 2000: The first 15,000 RPM drive, also a Cheetah hard drive

- 2006: Momentus 5400.3 drive, a 2.5-inch laptop drive and the world's first drive to feature perpendicular magnetic recording technology

- 2007: Momentus FDE (Full Disk Encryption) drive, the industry's first self-encrypting hard drive

- 2010: Momentus XT drive, the first solid state hybrid hard drive, combining traditional spinning media with NAND flash, to deliver speeds rivaling solid state drives (SSDs)

Seagate achieved the 1 terabit per square inch breakthroughs in materials science and near-field optics at its heads and media research and development centers in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Fremont, California.
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13 Comments on Seagate Reaches 1 Tb Per Square Inch Milestone in HDD Storage with New Technology

#1
theJesus
I'm waiting for the day I can fit a datacenter in my pocket.
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#2
DanTheBanjoman
SeƱor Moderator
by: Cristian_25H

The maximum capacity of today's 3.5-inch hard drives is 3 terabytes (TB), at about 620 gigabits per square inch, while 2.5-inch drives top out at 750 gigabytes (GB)
When was this written? I assume before the 4TB 3.5" drives and the 1TB 2.5" drives?

And what's with the list of their "achievements"?
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DanTheBanjoman
When was this written? I assume before the 4TB 3.5" drives and the 1TB 2.5" drives?

And what's with the list of their "achievements"?
I assume it is just copy and pasted from Seagate's press release.

I can let the 3.5" 4TB thing slide since there is only one commercially available 4TB drive currently, and it was just released a couple months ago. The 2.5" 1TB thing is a little less forgivable since I think 1TB 2.5" drives have been out since the middle of last year...
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#4
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
Man that's a lot of porn storage! WOW!
Posted on Reply
#5
LAN_deRf_HA
I like how this perpetual increase in storage space leaves me no motivation to "trim the fat" of my media collection.
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#6
jsfitz54
Goverments will love this.
Posted on Reply
#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I like how this perpetual increase in storage space leaves me no motivation to "trim the fat" of my media collection.
The increase in price has for me though.:laugh:
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#8
MikeMurphy
I don't see any milestones for reliability.
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#9
[H]@RD5TUFF
Still waiting for them to realize a 1 year warranty is bologna, and for hard drive prices to come down to normal, pre-flood, non inflated bat shit levels.
Posted on Reply
#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: MikeMurphy
I don't see any milestones for reliability.
Probably because they'd all be the same as everyone else.

"Released drive with Blahblahblah MTBF..."
Posted on Reply
#11
sy5tem
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
Still waiting for them to realize a 1 year warranty is bologna, and for hard drive prices to come down to normal, pre-flood, non inflated bat shit levels.
you can get WD drives with 5 years, its what we do here.
Posted on Reply
#12
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: sy5tem
you can get WD drives with 5 years, its what we do here.
They too are dropping down to a 1 year warranty except for enterprise level drives which are stupid expensive.
Posted on Reply
#13
w3b
The web needs a sarcasm font =)

by: theJesus
I'm waiting for the day I can fit a datacenter in my pocket.
Match the data centre size at x year to the appropriate sized USB stick (or even portable HDD) and you can do that today :p /sarcasm
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