TDK sets new hard drive density record, paves the way for 6TB HDDs

By on October 3, 2012, 12:00 PM

Solid state drives are continuing to build momentum as a speedy and rugged replacement for traditional spinning drive. TDK’s ongoing research into mechanical hard drives, however, suggests that we shouldn’t give up on the legacy technology just yet. The company recently announced a new milestone that will increase recording density in future drives by 50 percent.

The team at TDK have managed to achieve densities of 1.5TB per square inch by improving the magnetic head and hard disk medium with help from Showa Denko K.K. In layman’s terms, this new advancement will allow a single platter in a 3.5-inch desktop hard drive to achieve 2TB of storage. Add more platters to the mix and you’re now looking at hard drives reach 4TB and even 6TB in capacity.

Perhaps even more interesting is the impact it will have on 2.5-inch notebook drives. TDK says these smaller form factor HDDs will be able to achieve capacities of 1TB. This will allow users that aren’t yet sold on cloud storage to have a larger amount of data on hand at all times without having to lug around an external storage drive.

TDK will be showcasing the new technology at CEATEC this week although volume production isn’t expected to begin until sometime in 2014. At that point, one has to wonder just how far solid state drive technology will have come in terms of price versus capacity. This ratio has been the Achilles heel for SSDs thus far even as drives continue to be more affordable.




User Comments: 26

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NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Progress is good

How much were the 1TBs when they first came out?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Mechanical hard drive's are going to be around for a long, long time and the bigger, the better. SSD's are great to host your OS and maybe a couple of commonly used programs. Because of the cost ratio though, everything else goes on a mechanical drive.

For example, I'm ripping all of my blu-rays right now. Well those .iso files take 40GB of room - completely stupid to consider putting those on an SSD. But a 6TB mechanical? Perfect.

jeromie said:

Progress is good

How much were the 1TBs when they first came out?

I believe they were over $1000 when they first came out

Guest said:

What I do not understand is. 1.5 tera / inch square. How does that translate to 2 tera per plater. Last time I check a plater has 2 sides. So slam 5 platers like a normal hard drive and you got 10 sides. This translates to a 20 tera hard drive. Not 6. They let anyone write an article nowadays even some one with 3rd grade math.

Raswan Raswan said:

What I do not understand is. 1.5 tera / inch square. How does that translate to 2 tera per plater. Last time I check a plater has 2 sides. So slam 5 platers like a normal hard drive and you got 10 sides. This translates to a 20 tera hard drive. Not 6. They let anyone write an article nowadays even some one with 3rd grade math.

Apparently they also let anyone post on the interwebs nowadays, even someone with third-grade grammar and syntax...

Guest said:

I completely agree. I love the speed of my SSD for boot time and a few everyday apps but I'll never give up my high density spindle drives until something far better comes along to replace it. I'm also in the middle of converting all my DVDs, Blu-Ray movies and TV series for a HTPC and I'm already scouting for more drive space. I'm drooling over the idea of one of those 48U racks filled with 6TB drives.*nerd*

Guest said:

@TomSEA: What program are you using? DVDFab, or something else?

Guest said:

Just as you think they reached the max storage density on a magnetic drive, news like this comes a long.

I think they had this had technology for a very long time now, but if this would have been released years ago, all the storage manufacturers would go bankrupt, because most people would have had enough storage for a decade.

Kashim Kashim said:

What I do not understand is. 1.5 tera / inch square. How does that translate to 2 tera per plater. Last time I check a plater has 2 sides. So slam 5 platers like a normal hard drive and you got 10 sides. This translates to a 20 tera hard drive. Not 6. They let anyone write an article nowadays even some one with 3rd grade math.

Actually, this is a small error on the part of the poster. Hard drive platter areal density is measured in Tb not TB per square inch (that's giga BITS vs. giga BYTES). Also, they don't mention if the areal density is measured per side or per platter.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

These would have been out years ago, but counting all of the 1,500,000,000,000 bytes took them a few tries. That one joker who calls out random numbers while they counted had to be sacked!

This moves with Hitachi's prediction of steadily increasing density to 25-TB 3.5" disks by sometime in 2016. It still baffles me how they can get that much information controlled in such a small area.

Guest said:

The grammar has to be third grade level so Terrorists like Rashan can understand it. So it has to be dumbed down.

Guest said:

They already have 1tb 2.5" drives.

[link]

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Yes I was confused. Already 2.5" 1TB drives. There are also already 4TB 3.5" drives... I can buy the Hitachi 4TB from my local store. Article fact check fail!

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

What I do not understand is. 1.5 tera / inch square. How does that translate to 2 tera per plater. Last time I check a plater has 2 sides. So slam 5 platers like a normal hard drive and you got 10 sides. This translates to a 20 tera hard drive. Not 6. They let anyone write an article nowadays even some one with 3rd grade math.

Because its 1.5Tbits/sq in not Tbytes. But yes, the TS article failed to make the distinction and used the same TB in both cases, creating a confusing read.

Edit - oops, saw that was covered above. The linked to article has more details.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Yea if we are talking about normal 2.5" laptop HDD's with a 9.5mm height there already exists many of them: [link]

And a 2TB platter size should offer capacities up to 10TB in a single 3.5" drive, with 5 platters.

Just like the original 3.5" Hitachi 1TB drive (It had 5 platters, ps there is price statistics in SEK at this link jeromie)

http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?pu=171710

jeffz6 said:

I remeber a time when there was no hdd, just a big floppy.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I'm thinking in terms of how much data I'm looking to lose once such HDD goes belly up.

One needs at least two of these in RAID1 at all times, to feel safe.

sapo joe said:

In 2014 we'll probably have 10, 15 and even 25tb HDDs.

And people said SDDs would replace them... Lame.

Guest said:

This article is old news. With HAMR we are talking 60 terabyte for 3.5 and 10 to 20 terabytes for 2.5. So this article is like old news. Oh by the way if you lazy to google HAMR = heat assisted magnetic recording. I want those drives now so I can download the internet before it becomes all to censored by all governments. Issues piracy and secrecy of the wrongs all governments are engaged in. Like poisoning the population as genetic research shifts into high gear. They are trying to make you more obedient to be able to convince you that bs is ok.

Guest said:

Actually mechanical hard drives will become obsolete when scientists figure out how to control electrons. My concept is that you could store a zero in an electrons normal excitement state and a 1 in excited state. So this could be atomic storage. The problem is holding electrons in the state. Also one day lasers are going to be so powerful that you could etch something in a protons surface. Same with neutrons. By powerful I mean narrow beam. When we can focus laser so precisely that it becomes a single neutrino wide.

Guest said:

There was someone who mention the time he remembers no hard drives existence and was working with floppies. That was very much a dream when there were only punch cards for computers. And even punch cards were the newest trends where there were only pluggable wires for programming. Some history. How about the time when computers just used gears? Like the anticateria computer for astronomers. It only used different sized gears. Same thing in the Mayan calendar computer. Gears to compute the days.

Guest said:

Look at this article about the advancement in Technology. [link]

Guest said:

The reason is It is increasingly tough to stack platters in a drive that still fits the standard bay....

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I completely agree. I love the speed of my SSD for boot time and a few everyday apps but I'll never give up my high density spindle drives until something far better comes along to replace it. I'm also in the middle of converting all my DVDs, Blu-Ray movies and TV series for a HTPC and I'm already scouting for more drive space. I'm drooling over the idea of one of those 48U racks filled with 6TB drives.*nerd*
Dude, is it really that much trouble to get up and slap a disc in a DVD player?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

The reason is It is increasingly tough to stack platters in a drive that still fits the standard bay....

Doubtful. Its no harder to stack them today than it was years ago.

danwat1234 danwat1234 said:

The reason is It is increasingly tough to stack platters in a drive that still fits the standard bay....

Well, Hitachi just announced the first standard thickness (9.5mm) 2.5" laptop drive to have 3 platters! Normally that has to be at 12.5mm thickness.

It is the Hitachi Travelstar 5K1500. I'm sure it'll have lousy access times. I'll never buy anything other than a hybrid drive or SSD

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