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.