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Hitachi develops new hard drive head technology that will increase storage capacity to 4TB by 2011

Hitachi recently announced that it has achieved a breakthrough in hard drive read-head design.

This breakthrough has produced read-heads in the 30-50 nanometer range, approximately 2,000 times smaller than the width of an average human hair. This new technology is called current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magnetoresistive heads.

Giant magnetoresistance principles won scientists Albert Fert and Peter Grunberg the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physics.

These new heads will allow Hitachi to expand storage capacity in standard 3.5-inch desktop hard drives to 4TB and extend 2.5-inch laptop hard drives to 1TB of capacity. Hitachi says that it plans to integrate these new heads into hard drives starting in 2009 and that the technology will reach maturity in 2011.

The first products to reach market in 2009 will use recording heads of 50nm and products with recording heads of 30nm will hit market in 2011. Hitachi representatives believe the new heads will allow for storage densities of up to 500GB per square inch. The current highest capacity drives from Hitachi can only pack in 200GB per square inch.

Another benefit of the significantly smaller heads is that the hard drives will product less noise. Test products using 50nm heads produced 40dB of sound while the 30nm heads produced 30dB. Large capacity hard drives that produce less noise will be a welcome addition to digital video recorders.

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By Mitch101 on 10/16/2007 5:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
I love the idea of this and with the size I would be able to put everything there but if it dies you lose everything.

I was one of the unfortunate people to have had several IBM Deathstar drives and since Hitachi took that over Im just not ready to go back. Especially since IBM/Hitachi wouldnt warranty a single one of the 3 drives that died on me.

Great to see progress in size but I want reliability more than size.

RE: Reliability
By Xavian on 10/16/2007 5:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have had 3 Hitachi 250GB Hard Drives for about 2 years now, not a single failure and i use all 3 quite extensively.

Reliability has come a long way since the deathstars.

RE: Reliability
By Samus on 10/16/2007 9:16:05 PM , Rating: 2
After the 5 or so 75GXP-series drives failed in very short time, I am still concerned about taking IBM/Hitachi seriously in the industry.

RE: Reliability
By seamonkey79 on 10/16/2007 11:34:22 PM , Rating: 3
After the 5 or so 75GXP-series drives failed in very short time, I am still concerned about taking IBM/Hitachi seriously in the industry.

I feel the same way. In fact, I haven't bought an Intel CPU since the Pentium 60 I had couldn't do basic math like division. I just have trouble taking them seriously...

RE: Reliability
By Oregonian2 on 10/17/2007 3:57:24 AM , Rating: 3
Be careful not to read the errata sheet on whatever processor you're using. It does all kinds of things very badly. And it doesn't matter which one you're using or who made it, or when. There's a long list for it.

RE: Reliability
By Chris Peredun on 10/17/2007 12:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
As the old joke goes,

Q: How many Pentium designers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 1.99904274017, but that's close enough for non-technical people.

RE: Reliability
By euclidean on 10/17/2007 12:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just happy for a the normal drives should come down in price in the coming years....hopefully lol.

O, and as far as Hitachi goes...Dell uses either Hitachi, Fujitsu, or Toshiba HDDs in their Latitude D series and Precision series laptops...I've had more HItachi drives fail in the last 4 months than any of the other 2 drives. BUT, these have been in 2-3 year old machines that have had their asses beaten on a daily with my thoughts, at least in the Laptop drive market, the reliability is pretty decent :)

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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