TDK Discovers Way to Double HDD Capacity With Lasers

Written by John Ponio    Monday, 10 October 2011 14:16

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TDK has recently discovered a way to double hard-disk drive capacity, meaning that if they can figure out how to do this economically and find the right materials, HDDs will be in our future for even longer. Capacity is doubled by using high-coercive materials, or materials that take a stronger force to magnetize them but can hold their magnetic field longer. Higher coercive materials also means that they can fit more separate magnetic fields (more fields means more data) into the same space, because the smaller parts won't lose their magnetic fields as easily. With higher coercive materials magnetic fields are harder to change, which is both a pro and a con. A pro because of reasons stated before, and a con because it makes it harder to write data to the HDD that has these materials. This is where lasers come in. It's a principle of magnetism that a hotter object can more easily lose its magnetic field. With the special laser, the HDD is able to heat up the bit, change its magnetic field, and cool it before it loses its magnetism. Doing this is more difficult, but if it can be made economical to produce then we could be see 8TB drives with only four platters. You can read more about it here.