Fujitsu claims thermal assisted magnetic recording is the next big thing in ultra-high density

Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. has recently announced that it has successfully developed an optical element which will compliment thermal assisted magnetic recording in future hard disk drives.

Currently many hard disk drive manufacturers are utilizing perpendicular magnetic recording technology to pack bits tighter on to platters enabling higher capacity drives but the negative effects of writing to closely positioned bits is still evident even with the perpendicular recording method. This mainly due to the coercivity of magnetic media.

Thermal assisted magnetic recording uses a combination of optical and magnetic recording technologies, as the name implies, to handle the adverse effects of writing to magnetic platters by focusing heat on the specific bit that is to be written to. The heat is produced by the optics while the magnetic recording head takes over in data transfer. A detailed white paper [PDF] on this technology is available on Fujitsu's website which explains the background of the technology.

Though still in the development stages, this announcement gives us hints on what to expect in the future from hard disk drive technologies. With a 1 terabit per square inch platter density hard drive manufacturers can achieve larger overall hard disk drive capacities.

Magnetic hard disk drives are still the primary medium for data storage and Hitachi GST claims it will announce 1TB hard drives by the end of 2006. Earlier this year Seagate was the king of capacity with its 750GB monster but it looks like Hitachi has had some tricks up its sleeve. We will bring you more information as it becomes available on Hitachi's terabyte product.

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