September 19, 2006 Seagate Technology has claimed a world magnetic recording density record of 421 Gbits per square inch (421 Gbit/in2) using perpendicular recording heads and media created with currently available production equipment. Dr. Mark Kryder of Seagate unveiled the findings during his keynote presentation at the IDEMA DISKCON show in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the hard drive. We are very fortunate to be able to include Dr. Kryder’s entire slide presentation in our image library – some remarkable information and insights into the past, present and future of the hard disk drive – including forecasts that by 2014 we’ll have 200GB one inch drives and 12 terabyte 3.5 inch drives.
The demonstration is evidence of the continued momentum in disc drive innovation, and reaffirms the disc drive as the undisputed king of storage when capacity and cost-effectiveness are both required. At the demonstrated density level, Seagate expects the capacity ranges to result in solutions ranging in 40GB to 275GB for 1-and 1.8-inch consumer electronics drives, 500GB for 2.5-inch notebook drives, and nearly 2.5TB for 3.5-inch desktop and enterprise class drives. At 2.5TB capacity, a hard drive would be capable of storing 41,650 hours of music, 800,000 digital photographs, 4,000 hours of digital video or 1,250 video games. Seagate anticipates that solutions at these density levels could begin to emerge in 2009. "Today's demonstration, combined with recent technology announcements from fellow hard drive companies, clearly shows that the future of hard drives is stronger than ever," said Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate. "Breakthroughs in areal density are enabling the digital revolution and clearly indicate that hard drives can sustain their advantage to meet the world's insatiable demand for storage across a wide range of market segments." Seagate continues to invest its resources in research to serve the needs of the storage market and sees a strong future in disc drive development. During Dr. Kryder's DISKCON keynote, he explained future technologies designed to extend magnetic recording beyond perpendicular including Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and bit patterned media techniques. Using these recording methods, Seagate researchers have estimated capacities to reach or exceed 50 terabits per square inch. Demonstration Technical Details The areal density of 421 Gbpsi was demonstrated using 10 E-3 off-track bit error rate criteria with 5% squeeze and meeting a 10% off-track capability at a data rate of 735 megabits per second. The track density was 275,000 tracks per inch, and the linear density was 1.53 million bits per inch for a bit aspect ratio of 5.6. The demonstration was conducted using a product channel, perpendicular head, and thermally stable media created with current production equipment.