Beyond PMR: 3D Tower Hard Drives

An approach called 3D Towers is believed to reach to a density level well beyond 1 Tb per square inch.

The original Winchester magnetic recording technology was generally believes to hit a density of about 250 Gb (per square inch), but the move to perpendicular magnetic recording open the way to about 1 Tb, which will be reached with two to three years, according to industry expectations. At that point, the hard drive industry may have to move to further enhancements, such as heat-assisted recording technologies.    

However, it appears that scientists have found another way to avoid the expensive move to heat-assisted approaches one more time. Spintec demonstrated "several magnetic layers" to move beyond today's PMR hard drives.  

"Our new approach involves using bit-patterned media, which are made of arrays of physically separated magnetic nanodots, with each nanodot carrying one bit of information," said Jerome Moritz a researcher with Spintec. "To further extend the storage density, it's possible to increase the number of bits per dots by stacking several magnetic layers to obtain a multilevel magnetic recording device." From the press release:

"Moritz and colleagues were able to demonstrate that the best way to achieve a 2-bit-per-dot media involves stacking in-plane and perpendicular-to-plane magnetic media atop each dot. The perpendicularly magnetized layer can be read right above the dot, whereas the in-plane magnetized layer can be read between dots. This enables doubling of the areal density for a given dot size by taking better advantage of the whole patterned media area."

The researchers released an image of two-bit-per-dot patterned media, but there was no information when such storage media could actually be produced.

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  • kewlx
    That would b e awesome.. but how much farther will the density go? I mean will it get like 4TB per sq. in.? but either way probably by then SSD will have some nice big capacity blocks to take up the HDD space..hopefully. HDD are really slow but the benefit of huge sapce for so little still pulls me in though I have yet to own a TB drive I will soon get 2 TB external and 1 TB internal and shift OS over to a 80 GB SSD and slap another 128-256GB SSD for games and programs and media items will resides on the 1 TB and temp files and trash on the 640GB I have now.
  • bv90andy
    hdd space has continuously grown for many years but i've been waiting for a breakthrough like this. no matter how much i upgrade, i am always with no free space .
  • cmashwin
    @mayank... The space required is mostly for that.. :)