Researchers of Hitachi Ltd have created the world’s smallest disk drive heads which are 2,000 times smaller than a human hair. They minimised to ‘nano level’ a key component in hard drives to achieve this miracle. This will enable them to make hard drives of up to 4 terabytes for desktop computers and 1 terabyte for laptops in the next four years creating a revolution of sorts in computing. Even a one-terabyte hard drive can hold a mammoth amount of data, equivalent to the text contained in one million books. It is learnt that Hitachi will unveil its achievement at a conference in Tokyo this week. The technology used is similar to magneto-resistance that earned the Physics Nobel for this year.
Hitachi announced a new breakthrough in technology storage by developing the world’s smallest read/write head for hard drives. The name for the storage device is dubbed, “Current Perpendicular-to-the-Plane Giant Magneto-Resistive” or CPP-GMR head.
The new hard disk drive can be installed in desktops, notebooks and even little gadgets such as multimedia devices or digital cameras. This would give digital video recorders approximately 4 terabytes in storage. Currently, digital devices such as digital cams using a removable flash-card that holds about 1 gigabyte.
Hitachi says the new hard drive will be available for desktops by 2009. The notebook version will be available 2011.
As for storage, the common hard drive today can read media tracks that are 70 nanometers apart, but the new Hitachi drives have read media tracks that are only 50 nanometers apart.
Hitachi researchers plan to present its new hard drive at the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference in Tokyo.