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TDK Finally Crams 2TB on One 3.5-inch HDD Platter

By - Source: Tech-ON | B 20 comments

TDK has achieved 2 TB per 3.5-inch platter using its HAMR-based magnetic head technology.

Nearly one year ago, reports surfaced claiming that TDK had developed a technique that would cram 1 TB of data onto one hard drive platter. The company said it redesigned the magnetic read/write head of a hard drive by changing some of the materials and redesigning its overall structure to expand the recording density. The head also featured a special laser that heated up a high-coercive platter's hard surface with a precision of a few dozen nanometers.

This method of data storage is called heat-assisted magnetic recording, or HAMR, and was originally developed by Fujitsu back in 2006. By using this method, TDK achieved a BER of 10-2 with an areal density of 1 Tbit per square inch. That meant a 2.5-inch drive could theoretically store up to 2 TB of data.

At the time, TDK claimed that its new tech would go commercial as early as this year. There was even speculation that the industry would see 2 TB platters within the next 12 months. Tech-On reports that TDK has indeed reached this goal, and that it will use the new technology for volume production within 2014.

According to the report, TDK has achieved an areal density of 1.5 Tbits per square inch using a "magnetic head technology that is based on a thermal assist recording method and uses near-field light." That areal density is the equivalent to 1 TB per platter for 2.5-inch HDDs and 2 TB per platter for 3.5-inch HDDs, TDK said on Tuesday.

TDK verified the new areal density by using a "spin plate" rather than a working drive. A BER of 10-2 was confirmed by a linear density of 1,350kBPI and a track density of 1,113kTPI. The company then confirmed 1 Tbit per square inch technology with a linear density of 1,100kBPI and a track density of 915kTPI.

TDK told Tech-On that the actual results will be revealed at CREATEC JAPAN 2012 as the company showcases a prototype hard drive featuring the HAMR-based magnetic head.


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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    hannibal , October 4, 2012 5:55 PM
    It allso means that SSD are getting much further behind in storage capasity. But speed is the area of SSD in anyway so not a big problem.
    Maybe in 2014 we can get desent 500 GB SSD as an boot drive and 8 terabyte four platter HD as an storage... Not bad at all!
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    master_chen , October 4, 2012 5:45 PM
    That's some dense stuff!
  • 15 Hide
    hannibal , October 4, 2012 5:55 PM
    It allso means that SSD are getting much further behind in storage capasity. But speed is the area of SSD in anyway so not a big problem.
    Maybe in 2014 we can get desent 500 GB SSD as an boot drive and 8 terabyte four platter HD as an storage... Not bad at all!
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 9 Hide
    nforce4max , October 4, 2012 6:01 PM
    This HAMR scares the crap out of anyone who specializes in data recovery and companies that do data recovery are having a difficult time as it is with keeping up with the pace of newer but less durable tech. At least there is a new kit that allows for data recovery for SSD without the need for the controller to be functional.
  • 2 Hide
    bison88 , October 4, 2012 6:28 PM
    I imagine it'll worry people as much as read/write endurance did with SSD's when HAMR first goes live mainstream, but with all technology the first couple generations will always be more of "Beta" or "Prototypes" than a fully finalize product. HAMR will be with us for a long time to come, some estimates are putting it at 20 years for just HAMR alone to tap out and then still even further with HAMR + BPR to achieve past the 60TB 10Tb/inch2 arena.

    The skill level will go up, but I have faith as the industry constantly shows, that the kinks will be worked out. Early adopters will always run the biggest risk with any new technology, but if not for them driving the market and being the beta testers, we might never see new tech come out.
  • -8 Hide
    f-14 , October 4, 2012 6:43 PM
    still not what Dr.Evil was getting at when he wanted his sharks to have a nice hot meal, but this is good also and should net virtucom 1 MILLION Dollars muwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha-ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaaaaa-ahahahaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha-ahaah-aha.................ahahaa hahaaaa..........riiiiiight.... okay then.
  • 7 Hide
    ricdiculus , October 4, 2012 6:43 PM
    Man, I didn't know TDK was even still around! Whats next, Maxell hard drives? I gotta get out more often.
  • 2 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 4, 2012 6:53 PM
    When they make me a 2tb drive with a single platter I will be happy. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    shloader , October 4, 2012 6:59 PM
    To bad TDK rarely makes hard drives if at all. Think they're just an R&D company. ok. So sell the tech to Western Digital who will push out a five platter monster through their recently acquired Hitachi Global Storage Technologies who are already known for that and we can get a 10TB Drive already!
  • 1 Hide
    techcurious , October 4, 2012 7:26 PM
    But TDK doesn't manufacture hard drives.. I would not want to buy the first TDK HDD, that is also using a very new tech to the whole industry.. even veteran HDD makers have trouble with new tech, let alone a first time player.. Other HDD makers are also developing HAMR. I know seagate has made great advances with HAMR as well.
  • 3 Hide
    master_chen , October 4, 2012 7:41 PM
    So sell the tech to Western Digital.

    I don't want any "Blue/Green Caviar" garbage anymore.
  • 3 Hide
    tmc , October 4, 2012 8:08 PM
    The only thing people care about retail release date and price... get ON with it..
  • 1 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , October 4, 2012 8:39 PM
    Anyone else thought of The Dark Knight when they saw the title?

    Anyway, I didn't know TDK made hard drives, I've only known them for Media Storage like DVD's. They sure make a nice batch of DVD-DL's, I buy them on ebay and hardly get any coasters.
  • 1 Hide
    cjl , October 4, 2012 9:26 PM
    TDK doesn't make hard drives. They do however make hard drive components - I believe WD has been using TDK read-write heads for some time now, for example, and they may also make platters.

    Also, a bit error rate of 10^-2 does not sound wonderful - hopefully they can dramatically improve that now that they've got the basics figured out.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 4, 2012 10:48 PM
    Combine this with the Helium drives, get 5 platters and we have 10Tb drives
    I'll have 4 please to go in a quad NAS thanks very much
  • 1 Hide
    alxianthelast , October 4, 2012 11:54 PM
    I'm sorry.. 10TB drive did you just say?!

    20-30 in a NAS?

  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , October 5, 2012 3:54 AM
    Too bad hard drive prices won't come down at all.
  • 0 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , February 26, 2013 6:09 PM
    Personally, I just love applying heat to my magnetic storage media, you know, to improve its efficiency!
  • 0 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , March 14, 2013 12:44 PM
    8TB drives or whatev sounds nice, really need to work on the thruput IMO. Possible to have dual controller on HD's or read/write heads to increase thruput? would be nice to be able to saturate a 6Gps Sata link with HDD.
  • 0 Hide
    mynith , April 2, 2013 8:15 PM
    If density is that high, doesn't that negatively impact endurance? The slightest amount of play in the main bearing and all is lost. That said, however, this is great news. I personally like to think that as density increases, speed increases along with it. More data per revolution is more data per second. And hope reliability will be good. And cjl is right. A bit error rate of 10^⁻2 doesn't sound wonderful at all, at least if it means what I think it does.
  • 0 Hide
    Tanquen , May 13, 2013 5:50 PM
    No they are not 2TB platters they are 1.8-ish TB platters.
    Tom’s is a tech site and it should state facts not the manufactures lies.
    Regardless of what the storage manufactures say the following is and always will be true:
    1,024 B (bytes) = 1KB (kilobyte)
    1,024 KB (kilobytes) = 1 MB (megabyte)
    1,024 MB (megabytes) = 1 GB (gigabyte)
    1,024 GB (gigabytes) = 1 TB (terabyte)
    Manufactures just can’t resist. I saw my first 60” (class) TV the other day. I think I’ll start a car company and when people start complaining that the cars aren’t getting their rated 100 MPG I’ll just tell them that they think of (and has always been) as a GAL is now a GAiL and a GAL now equals 100oz not 128oz and to shut the F!@# up.