Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) has announced shipment of the first HDD based on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). The new 1.8-inch HDD, used primarily in consumer electronics (CE) devices, enables up to 10,000 songs on a single 40GB platter.
The MK4007GAL HDD 1.8-inch HDD packs 40GB on a single platter, the largest single-platter
capacity yet achieved in the 1.8-inch form factor, according to Toshiba.
This technology sets new benchmarks for data density with the highest area density currently
on the market at 206 megabits per square millimeter (133 gigabits per square inch). The
1.8-inch PMR HDD is now shipping in Toshiba's new Gigabeat F41, enabling the MP3 player to
store up to 10,000 songs.
Toshiba says it is the first company in the storage industry to commercialize PMR, providing
unsurpassed recording density and high operating reliability on its 1.8-inch HDDplatform.
The technology is based on a new magnetic disk structured to support perpendicular
recording, a new high-performance perpendicular magnetic head, and disk and head integration
technology that maximizes their combined performance. Conventional longitudinal recording
stores data on a magnetic disk as microscopic magnet bits aligned in plane. Although
advances in magnetic coatings continue to improve data recording densities on HDD, when the
densities become too extreme, the magnetic bits repulse each other due to in-plane
alignment. Squeezing more bits on to a disk will eventually reach a point in which crowding
degrades recorded bit quality. As such, HDD manufacturers face fast-approaching limits on
storage capacities. By standing the magnetic bits on end, perpendicular recording reinforces
magnetic coupling between neighboring bits, achieving higher and more stable recording
densities and improved storage capacity. Toshiba is currently shipping the 40GB MK4007GAL to
OEM and channel partners.
The company plans to apply PMR technology to its 0.85-inch HDD in 2006, increasing capacity
to 6GB-8GB per platter and supporting Toshiba's efforts to pioneer the market for
ultra-small form factor drives.