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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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why
By greatfool66 on 10/16/2007 8:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
If I had a MB for every time I heard about a supposedly revolutionary new HD technology... Hard drive makers are always discovering these new technologies but never seem to get ahead of the pack. Why are WD, Samsung, Maxtor, Sprint, and Hitachi drives all roughly equivalent with only minor differences in price and reliability?




RE: why
By GreenyMP on 10/16/2007 8:58:36 PM , Rating: 3
Because they reverse engineer each-others technology and then attempt to "add value" before they ship it. Seagate gives you a high MTBF* and a 5 year warranty. WD gives you a higher rotational speed (raptor) or bigger cache. Hitachi just builds the drives and leaves the selling to 3rd parties like Sun, IBM, or Compaq. And Maxtor gives you crap. Just kidding. I don't know what Maxtor gives you -- but I am sure it is awesome ;)

*Mean Time Before Failure


RE: why
By Radeon117X on 10/16/2007 11:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
Least Seagate owns Maxtor now so they give you the same thing Seagate drives give.

This is awesome though. 4TB on one drive...However, im really looking forward to SSD prices dropping and performance increasing. Im really not liking those several hundred dollar drives that only hold 64GB and are only a bit faster on say bootup than Hard drives. While they are awesome for keeping power consumption in laptops low, and having no moving parts, they are much too expensive!


RE: why
By Oregonian2 on 10/17/2007 4:01:35 AM , Rating: 2
And in some aspects, they use some of the same suppliers for the parts they use (like the platters, the read chips, etc) as well as likely using some of the same equipment to manufacture their drives. I suspect they probably need to cross-license patents from one another as well.


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