Right now, the platters in Seagate's Barracuda 3TB hard drive pack 620 gigabits into every square inch of surface area. That areal density is high enough to squeeze an entire terabyte onto each platter, but it's nothing compared to what Seagate has come up with in its labs. The company is trumpeting a "technology demonstration" that achieves an areal density of one terabit per square inch. Impressive.
How did Seagate manage such a substantial increase in areal density? Frickin' lasers. Seriously. The tech demo relied on heat-assisted magnetic recording technology (HAMR), which employs ultra-precise lasers to flip bits on the platter. The press release provides few details on the specifics of the implementation, but HAMR is something Seagate has been working on since at least 2006. Although there's no timeline for when the technology will be ready for mass consumption, the perpendicular recording technology currently used by hard drive makers is expected to run out of steam near the 1Tb/in² threshold.
In addition to enabling higher bit densities, HAMR has been associated with faster write performance. Using lasers to flip bits is apparently faster than the traditional magnetic approach, although a magnetic head is still required to read the data once it's been written. As far as we know, lasers can't take part in the read process.
|G.Skill KM560 MX keyboard drops the numpad||7|
|Rumor: Acer Triton 700 may use an unreleased Pascal GPU||17|
|Silverstone Vital VT02 could hold a Core i7 in under two liters||5|
|Galax and KFA2 induct the GTX 1080 Ti into the Hall of Fame||21|
|Acer's Aspire GX-281 lineup brings Ryzen to the masses||13|
|Deals of the week: discounts on CPUs, mobos, and more||8|
|Asetek gets $600,000 from Cooler Master in AIO cooler patent spat||16|
|Acer Predator Triton and Helios laptops are ready for serious play||14|
|Intel enjoys healthy revenue and profits for Q1 2017||29|