Will consumers see 8 GB hard drives in 2012? According to TDK, its new technology will more than double current capacities.
Japan's Nikkei Business Daily reports that TDK has developed a technology that can "more than double" the storage space of hard disk drives. Given that they're currently maxed out at 4 TB for the moment, that's a possible 8 TB or more per unit. This capacity can reportedly be achieved thanks to a special laser that heats up a platter's hard surface with a precision of a few dozen nanometers.
In addition to the laser, the Nikkei Business Daily reports that TDK has also changed the materials used in the magnetic head. It's also redesigned the structure of the head to expand the recording density. That said, the combination of a specialized laser and a redesigned magnetic head allows for more data to be stored on drives of the same size.
Oddly enough, TDK claims that this new technology will cram 1 TB of data onto one hard drive platter. But there are already physical drives out on the market today featuring platters with 1 TB. As reported in September, Hitachi's line of Deskstar 7K1000.D 3.5-inch drives features a single 7200RPM platter offering up to 1 TB of storage and a maximum areal density of 569 gigabits per square inch.
"As we ship our first 1 TB per platter drives, we know we’re delivering capacity, reliability and value to a broad customer base," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi GST. "Not only are we shipping our 1 TB per platter drives to our own Branded Business, but we are shipping to our channel partners as well, enabling them to design affordable HDD-based solutions at attractive price points."
Still, TDK is reportedly pitching to HDD manufacturers that a drive with two platters produced by its new technology will have the capability of storing two weeks of HDTV content from five channels (aka 1,600 hours of HD video). With that in mind, these platters will likely hold 1 TB of data at the very least -- we might actually see 2 TB platters within the next twelve months, as TDK claims that its new tech should go commercial as early as next year.