Seagate today announced that it has reached a new milestone in hard drive technology. The company claims to be the first hard drive manufacturer to achieve a storage density of 1Tb (1 terabit = 1 trillion bits) per square inch. This makes it possible for massive 60TB (terabyte) hard drives to arrive within the next decade.
Currently, the highest-capacity internal hard drives offer at most 3TB of storage capacity. These existing hard drives use a recording technology called perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) for storing digitized data, such as music, photos, and videos. Seagate was able to increase data storage density by using a next-gen recording technology called Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR).
With HAMR technology, Seagate was able to achieve 2 million bits per linear inch, which is just over 1Tb per square inch. This is 55 percent higher than today's storage density ceiling of 620 gigabits per square inch, which only allows up to 3TB for 3.5-inch hard drives and 750GB for 2.5-inch drives.
First generation HAMR hard drives will likely boost these limits to 6TB for 3.5-inch drives and 2TB for 2.5-inch drives. However, the scalability of HAMR could theoretically increase capacities to 30TB to 60TB in 3.5-inch drives, and 10TB and 20TB in 2.5-inch drives.