Hitachi Advance Fuels ‘Terabye Era’ of Storage

Hitachi Ltd. has announced the development of a very small read head for hard drives, which, when implemented, could quadruple storage capacity. The technology could provide up to four terabytes of drive capacity for desktop computers and up to one terabyte for laptops.

Hitachi researchers succeeded in reducing the head size to the 30 to 50 nanometer range, smaller by a factor of two than the smallest conventional heads.

“This is an achievement for consumers as much as it is for Hitachi,” said Hiroaki Odawara, research director of the storage technology research center, at Hitachi’s Central Research Laboratory. “It allows Hitachi to fuel the growth of the ‘Terabyte Era’ of storage, which we started, and gives consumers virtually limitless ability for storing their digital content.”

The technology making the reduced size heads possible is known as current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magneto-restive or CPP-GMR. It is expected to provide a recording density of from 500 Gb to one Tb per square inch.

Hitachi plans to begin shipment of CPP-GMR-based products in 2009.