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Sunday, September 17, 2006
Seagate Promises 2.5TB HDD Drives

Seagate announced the results of a magnetic recording demonstration, setting a world record of 421 Gbits per square inch (421 Gbit/in2).

The demonstration used perpendicular recording heads and media created with currently available production equipment that validates Seagate's ability to scale the technology for the foreseeable future without major technology changes or capital additions. Dr. Mark Kryder of Seagate unveiled the findings during his keynote presentation at the IDEMA DISKCON show in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the hard drive.

At the demonstrated density level, Seagate expects the capacity ranges to result in solutions ranging in 40GB to 275GB for 1-and 1.8-inch consumer electronics drives, 500GB for 2.5-inch notebook drives, and nearly 2.5TB for 3.5-inch desktop and enterprise class drives. At 2.5TB capacity, a hard drive would be capable of storing 41,650 hours of music, 800,000 digital photographs, 4,000 hours of digital video or 1,250 video games. Seagate anticipates that solutions at these density levels could begin to emerge in 2009.

Seagate continues to invest its resources in research to serve the needs of the storage market and sees a strong future in disc drive development. During Dr. Kryder's DISKCON keynote, he explained future technologies designed to extend magnetic recording beyond perpendicular including Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and bit patterned media techniques. Using these recording methods, Seagate researchers have estimated capacities to reach or exceed 50 terabits per square inch.

Hitachi, another major supporter and developer of perpendicular hard disk drives, announced last week that by 2009, a 345 Gbits/sq. in. data density would result in a two-terabyte (TB) 3.5-inch desktop drive, a 400-gigabyte (GB) 2.5-inch notebook drive or a 200-GB 1.8-inch drive. In the first half of 2007, Hitachi expects to bring hard drive areal density half way to the 345 Gbits/sq. in. mark with a 1-TB 3.5-inch product.

Demonstration Technical Details

The areal density of 421 Gbpsi was demonstrated using 10 E-3 off-track bit error rate criteria with 5% squeeze and meeting a 10% off-track capability at a data rate of 735 megabits per second. The track density was 275,000 tracks per inch, and the linear density was 1.53 million bits per inch for a bit aspect ratio of 5.6. The demonstration was conducted using a product channel, perpendicular head, and thermally stable media created with current production equipment.

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