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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.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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 .
    Reply
  • cmashwin
    @mayank... The space required is mostly for that.. :)
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    "Our new approach involves using bit-patterned media" .. NEW? No... I've been hearing about bit-patterned media and HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technologies for years.

    I think SSD capacities will not be able to attain the same capacities as HDDs of the future due to limitations of transistor shrinkage, unless they can just make the silicon dies inside the flash chips a lot larger without making them super expensive and power hungry. Also, perhaps, NAND will not be the end-all solution to solid stat storage..
    Reply
  • virtualban
    cmashwin@mayank... The space required is mostly for that..It's the stash for when the internet goes down *nods approvingly*
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    virtualbanIt's the stash for when the internet goes down *nods approvingly*Never can be too prepared for these solar storms, right?
    Reply
  • virtualban
    right :D
    Reply
  • alidan
    i have a psp and a 1gb stick with pics just in case of a power out.

    that said, how big do we really want a hard drive?
    how much data do you want potentially GONE?
    we have backups... yes WE do, but when did you start making backups... the first time you lost data

    for me it was the wipeing of a 5gb hdd... at the time, that was EXTREMELY devastating, but thankfully most of it was easy to refind, and i happened to burn off most of the hard to get stuff for a friend, who never took the disc.

    how many people are going to have their first hdd wipe be of a 1tb+ amount?
    Reply
  • alidan
    danwat1234"Our new approach involves using bit-patterned media" .. NEW? No... I've been hearing about bit-patterned media and HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technologies for years.I think SSD capacities will not be able to attain the same capacities as HDDs of the future due to limitations of transistor shrinkage, unless they can just make the silicon dies inside the flash chips a lot larger without making them super expensive and power hungry. Also, perhaps, NAND will not be the end-all solution to solid stat storage..

    i believe that the 6-9nm is the limit based on current science. we are at what, about 1.50 at a 32nm process, buy doing math 1gb will cost 28-42 cents a gb at current pricing rates. that number will probably be far less.
    Reply
  • virtualban
    alidani have a psp and a 1gb stick with pics just in case of a power out. that said, how big do we really want a hard drive? how much data do you want potentially GONE?we have backups... yes WE do, but when did you start making backups... the first time you lost datafor me it was the wipeing of a 5gb hdd... at the time, that was EXTREMELY devastating, but thankfully most of it was easy to refind, and i happened to burn off most of the hard to get stuff for a friend, who never took the disc. how many people are going to have their first hdd wipe be of a 1tb+ amount?My first "data being rendered inaccessible" happened on a 486 with a 150 MB (MB, not GB) SCSI drive, in which, the computer itself died and the hard drive was there, sitting pretty, and unable to be put on a normal IDE drive. I recovered the data about 6 months later going to professionals because none of my friends could find a SCSI controller that matched my drive. Irregular backups on other drives and other computers came since then. Losing a 10 GB and 60 GB drive a couple of years later was like: meh, their time had come.
    Reply