The future of speedy storage is in solid state, but the capacity advantage will still belong to the magnetic-based parts for the near future.
The one wrinkle in the evolution of hard disk drives is areal density. We may see HDDs grow to 3TB this year, but perpendicular magnetic recording technology is hitting a wall in terms of capacity.
Hitachi may have the solution to that with a method that involves lasers. The addition of lasers tends to improve almost anything, and this is no exception. A 20nm beam of light would be used to heat the storage medium while a magnetic head writes the bits.
The heat-based technology would enable smaller magnetic grains that could pave the way for 2.5 terabit per square inch -- five times the capacity of the densest hard drives of today, according to NordicHardware's explanation. This could mean hard drive sizes of 10TB.