Toshiba claims hard-drive breakthrough

The company will unveil work in next generation drive technology later on Wednesday

Toshiba will detail a breakthrough in data storage later Wednesday that it says paves the way for hard drives with vastly higher capacity than today.

The breakthrough has been made in the research of bit-patterned media, a magnetic storage technology that is being developed for future hard disk drives. In today's drives, magnetic material is spread across the surface of the disk and bits of data are stored across several hundred magnetic grains, but the technology is reaching its limit.

Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Under a microscope, the magnetic bits look like thousands of tiny spheres crammed next to each another.

Data is stored on these magnetic bits: One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data.

Prototypes of the media have been made before but Toshiba says its engineers have, for the first time, succeeded in producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows. The rows and gaps between them are important because they act as markers to where data is stored. If the disk surface consisted of an unorganized mass of magnetic bits it could be impossible to find data but the organization allows for the quick location of information.

Toshiba also said it managed to gain usable signals from a recording head that flew over the data and stopped at a data track on the media.

Details of the development will be disclosed on Wednesday at The Magnetic Recording Conference, which began on Monday in San Diego.

Toshiba's sample media is still in the prototype stage, but is built at a density equivalent to 2.5 terabits per square inch. Contrast that with Toshiba's current highest capacity drive today, which is based on existing technology and has a density of 541 gigabits per square inch or about one fifth that of the new technology.

Toshiba expects the first drives based on bit-patterned media to hit the market around 2013.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags storagetoshibahddDrives

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?