Toshiba has Today's drives have a uniform magnetic coating that makes up the recording surface and each bit of data is stored in hundreds of grains across the disk. Bit-pattern media is more efficient. It breaks that recording surface up into numerous magnetic "bits" consisting of a few magnetic grains. Each "bit" holds one bit of data and they are organized into rows. The gaps between those rows act as markers, allowing data to be located quickly. Toshiba expects the technology to appear in hard drives as early as 2013.