On Tuesday, Western Digital (WD) revealed that it has achieved 520 Gb/in2 areal density, which is the hard drive industry’s highest demonstrated density till now using continuous media. This path-breaking accomplishment was announced at the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference in Tokyo after an earlier demonstration in California.
WD achieved 520 Gb/in2 using its own perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)/tunneling magneto-resistive (TuMR) head technology, after the company’s increasing investments in technology over the past five years. This level of density generates a 3.5-inch hard drive storing 640 GB-per-platter and single hard drive capacities as large as 3TB. Based on the industry’s current density growth rate of over 40 percent per year, those capacities are slated to be available in the 2010 timeframe.
“WD was the first hard drive manufacturer to ship in volume the 250 GB capacity point in the 2.5-inch form factor,” maintained Hossein Moghadam, chief technology officer for WD. Adding “Our technology investments position WD with our customers as a leading choice for the highest, cutting-edge capacities. Our top priority will be to remain keenly focused on providing the highest quality and reliability, which customers have come to expect from WD after years of relying on our products.”
In October-beginning WD demonstrated 520 Gb/in2 density in its Magnetic Head Operation labs in Fremont, Calif. Moghadam continued, “The milestone was realized using our current-technology MgO reader, illustrating the extendibility of PMR-TuMR head technology generations into the future.”
The existing industry-leading hard drive densities shipping in high volume are around 200 Gb/in2, as featured in WD’s 250 GB WD Scorpio 2.5-inch drive for notebooks and mobile applications, which started shipping in May 2007.