Hitachi halves hard drive head size
Paves way for 4TB desktop drives, apparently
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.
Not sure if this is good place
to bring this up but WTF apparently in the US they are deciding whether to block imports of the top hdd manufacturers because of a patent being used without permission in the fabrication process anyway the one thats not being mentioned is Hitachi and all I have seen for the last couple of days are Hitachi commercials if they do block Seagate Western Digital it might mean cheap hdd
s for all outside the USA. I didn't make this up it's been in Ars Technica and on the USITC site.
With the advent of holographic memory, this is purely a "We can do this, just watch us!" scenario?
I thought they were dealing with holo-memory for the future? With a possible (theoretical without error correction) 4Gb per millimeter, surely "it's the future!" (Garlic Bread anyone?)
Paris, Paris, Paris!... ahem..
Spintronics is something already in development! Controlling the spin of an electron with a magnetic field to store either a 1 or a 0. Long way off production yet though.
Anyone..how far can they go?
I was gobsmacked to realise I had something relying on quantum tunneling in my pc! Shows my education level..
So um, how far can they go info density wise? I mean when you reach the point of lining up individual electrons, is that the limit?
Even though solid state sounds nice, that whirring Victoria is a piece of quantum mechanics in itself. That TMR head Hitachi plans to outdate makes heavy use of tunneling effect. Earlier GMR heads are based on - you said it - GMR, which in itself is a quantum effect and deals with electron spin. Fujitsu's creating nanohole patterns with 25nm pitch to further increase the data density in HDDs.
So yes, it may be whirring, but there's nothing antique about it.