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by Mike Zazaian September 16, 2006 - 6:38pm, 7 Comments

A hard drive

Hard drive titan Seagate says that increasing hard disk densities could mean 4,000 hours of video on your PC, or TiVo, by 2009.

Hard drive technologies have come a hell of a long way since the 1-ton, 5 megabyte RAMAC was released in 1956. Hell, it was only a decade ago that Seagate’s 20 gigabyte drives marked an industry standard. And as Seagate and other hard-drive developers continue to push the envelope on digital media storage, the once-fabled 1 terabyte milestone may soon look like small potatoes.

Seagate announced in a press release yesterday that it anticipates maximum storage sizes of 275GB for 1″ micro drives, 500GB 2.5″ notebook drives, and 2.5TB, or 2500 gigabytes for 3.5″ desktop drives by 2009.

The claims were supported by a magnetic storage demonstration in which Seagate achieved a world record of 421 Gbits per square inch (421 Gbit/in2). Such capacities have become possible as new technologies such as Perpendicular Recording have emerged, promising higher disk densities for all magnetic recording applications in the near future.

Diagram of Perpendicular Recording

Perpendicular recording functions by aligning the poles of the magnetic elements, which represent bits, perpendicularly to the surface of the disk platter. The result of which is up to ten times greater than the current longitudinal recording methods that are used. While other, more experimental storage methods such as Magnetic Vortices are being researched for future applications, perpendicular recording represents the most mature of such innovations, and will likely be responsible for a vast increase in storage capacities until it peaks around 2011.

[Seagate Press Release]