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Fujitsu announces technology for future hard drive capacity expansion

Fujitsu of America announced another advancement in its research of magnetic recording. Using patterned media technology, Fujitsu was able to achieve a one-dimensional array nanohole pattern with a 25 nanometer pitch. This process could one day enable one terabit per square inch recording on HDDs. Fujitsu also revealed a new development involving perpendicular magnetic recording read/write operation on random patterned media. With this technology, the soft underlayer is used as the PMR media, another important milestone.

A density of one terabit per square inch is about five times greater than the current drive technology on the market. Applying a one terabit areal density figure to today’s drive sizes would give us 3.5” drives capable of storing 5TB or 2.5” notebook drives holding 1.5TB.

Fujitsu first announced innovations with patterned media recording in June 2005. At that time, advancements were made with the introduction of a process to pre-pit aluminum media, resulting in nanoholes with an extremely dense and ordered structure. In addition, a technique called land/groove texturing allowed for the creation of discrete tracks in which the nanoholes could be formed. This progress in patterned media has enabled the development of high capacity hard disk drives, especially in smaller form factors.

This progress in patterned media recording closely follows the November 2006 Fujitsu announcement regarding the optical element being developed for thermal assisted recording, another promising advancement for future capacity increases.



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RE: So what
By patentman on 1/24/2007 12:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
"They are very nearly the sole reason drives are so much faster today than in 1986."

Increase areal density is a factor, but certainly not the sole factor. Equally important are advances in magnetoresitive head technology over that same time period. I can point to myriad documents in the patent literature to support that position.

Another factor is substrate technology. Flatter substrates allow heads to fly closer to the media, increasing signal to noise ratio thereby enabling faster read/write operations.

Another factor is lubricant technology, which, like flatter substrates, permits head to fly close to the media.

Another factor is more precise spindle motor technology.

The list goes on and on.



RE: So what
By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "Equally important are advances in magnetoresitive head technology ..."

Err, those advances in head technology are what enabled areal density increases. Increased s/n ratio is another enabler. You're making my point for me. None of these tertiary technologies by themselves increase performance. They simply allow increased density, rotational density, and or seek times.

The situations is very simple. A drive's bandwidth is determined by the number of bits passing underneath the read every second. That is driven by two factors-- areal bit density, and rotational speed. The only other factor is the latency in the read request, which is a function of rotational speed and head seek times.

That's it. There aren't any other factors. Any technological advance that impacts performance does so by either directly or indirectly allowing improvement in one of these areas.


RE: So what
By patentman on 1/24/2007 1:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
err.. without these "tertiary" technologies, it wouldn;t mean jack if you had a postage stamp size disk that could store the entire library of congress on it. If you can't read or write to the media, the media is useless. Moreover, it certainly won't be faster than prior media, because, again, it cannot be read or written to.

My point (and maybe yours as well) is that with hard drives, multiple areas of technology (i.e., the head, the platter, the recording layer, the spindle motor etc.) have to be developed concurrently, else the device will not work. It is no where near as simple as you are trying to make it sound. I know for a fact (having worked in this industry for several years and having read about hard drive technology for 8 hours a day for almost 4 years at the USPTO) that you cannot simply match an old head with a new media. Unless something major has changed that I haven;t heard about, it doesn't work that way. If you think I'm wrong, prove it with some tangible evidence.

And one of these days I am going to figure out where the heck you get your information. You seem to think you know everything about everything, be it hard drives, IP law (or law in general), or anything else that happens to come across DT. If you aren't pulling this crap from wikipedia or something you are either the smartest person on the planet or are pulling stuff out of your...err...the air.


RE: So what
By masher2 (blog) on 1/24/2007 1:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
> " It is no where near as simple as you are trying to make it sound."

Nowhere did I "make it sound" as if increasing areal density was a simple process. In general, for bit densities to increase, advances must be made in several areas besides the platters themselves. That goes without saying.

My original statement still stands. The vast majority of improvements in hdd performance come from increased areal density. That increased density, in turn, comes from advancements in many other areas true. Butut the fact remainds that those technologies improve performance only by increasing areal density, or some other performance factor I listed above.

> "And one of these days I am going to figure out where the heck you get your information..."

With age cometh wisdom. :p


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