Feeds

Hitachi halves hard drive head size

Paves way for 4TB desktop drives, apparently

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Hitachi has developed a hard drive read/write head that's half the size of the units found in today's top-of-the-line HDDs - a crucial step, it claimed, to delivering a 4TB desktop drive, albeit not until 2009 at the earliest.

Hitachi's new head may be tiny - 30-50nm in size, one two-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair - but the technology it's based on is something of a mouthful: Current Perpendicular-to-the-Plane Giant Magneto-Resistive (CPP-GMR).

In practice that means the heads are based conduction through metal rather than an insulator, as is the case with today's quantum-tunneling based Tunnel Magneto-Resistive (TMR) hard drive heads. The CPP-GMR head's lower electrical resistance allows it to detect smaller changes in the disc platter's magnetic field, reduced as drive makers ramp up disks' data storage density.

Hitachi claimed TMR technology will prove impractical one disk data densities pass the 500Gb per inch-squared point, let alone the 1Tbpin² density many hard-drive industry operatives are currently chasing.

Today's drives have a density of up to 200Gbpi², so we're a few years away from needing a clear successor to TMR, one reason why Hitachi doesn't expect to get its new technology into commercially available drives until 2009. That's for 50nm heads - 30nm versions will arrive in 2011, the company forecast.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.