Toshiba Unveils 80 GB Hard Drive
Toshiba has unveiled the world’s first hard disk drive (HDD) based on perpendicular recording, setting new benchmarks for data density by boosting the capacity of a single 1.8-inch hard-disk platter to 40 gigabytes.
The new technology has been introduced to two high capacity drives: the MK4007GAL HDD packs 40GB into a drive only five millimeters thick, while the MK8007GAH achieves a capacity of 80GB–the largest capacity yet achieved in the 1.8-inch form factor.
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, the magnetic bits repulse each other due to in-plane alignment. Squeezing more bits on to a disk will eventually reach a point where crowding degrades recorded bit quality.
This places fast-approaching limits on storage capacities. By standing the magnetic bits on end, perpendicular recording reinforces magnetic coupling between neighboring bits, achieving stable higher recording densities and improved storage capacity.
The new HDDs achieve the highest areal density yet reported, 206 megabits per square millimeter (133 gigabits per square inch). The 40GB platter capacity is 33% more than that of Toshiba’s conventional HDD.
Toshiba plans to start mass production of the 40GB and 80GB drives in the first and second quarters, respectively, of the fiscal year starting April 1, 2005.
The Japanese hardware giant is the first company in the storage device industry to commercialize perpendicular magnetic recording. Toshiba will also apply the new technology to the 0.85-inch HDD that it announced in January this year, a move that will push capacity to 6 to 8GB per platter and open up a new era for ultra-small form factor drives.