Seagate Demonstrates Record Storage Areal Density

Seagate today announced that its scientists have broken new ground in the field of magnetic data storage by demonstrating areal densities of over 100 gigabits per square inch (Gb/in2) using perpendicular recording technology. This “vertical” move has also enabled record performance data rates of up to 125 MB per second. As the areal density growth rate of current longitudinal recording begins to slow, perpendicular recording appears best-positioned to keep pace with the world’s growing data storage needs, with the potential for far higher density levels over time than what could otherwise be achieved.

“Perpendicular recording is projected to achieve areal densities as high as one terabit per square inch (Tb/in2), roughly 20 times the density of today’s state-of-the-art disc drive products,” said Dr. Mark Kryder, Seagate senior vice president of Research. “This is equivalent to storing over one full terabyte (1000 gigabytes) of information or nearly 500 DVD movies on a single 3-inch disc.”

Perpendicular recording arranges the magnetic bits vertically on end on the surface of the disc, enabling the head to record and read more information per unit area. Perpendicular recording breaks new ground because today’s disc drives use traditional longitudinal recording that arranges the bits horizontally on the disc and therefore also require more surface area to store information.

“These demonstrations are evidence of the increasing maturity of the technology, which we intend to utilize in Seagate products in the future,” said Mike Covault, vice president of Seagate’s Advanced Technology Integration Team. “The shift to perpendicular recording highlights a technology roadmap for magnetic recording to continue to address the needs of an increasingly data-intensive, digital world.”

Using industry-standard test procedures, Seagate has achieved a recording density in Perpendicular Recording of 100 Gbits per sq. inch, at 700 kbpi by 143 ktpi and over 330 Mbits per second. This is the highest areal density reported to date for Perpendicular Recording systems and represents a significant advance in the state of the art over the previous record of 60 Gbpsi.

The demonstrations were conducted by Seagate’s Head Technology Development group and Advanced Concepts Lab in Minnesota, using heads manufactured there and in Seagate’s Northern Ireland recording head plant.

Both achievements continue the rapid increase in performance and capacity for perpendicular recording systems over the past 12 months and position Seagate as the leader in this technology. Perpendicular recording will ensure that continued progress in disc drive capacity and performance will be made well into the future.

Seagate anticipates implementing perpendicular recording within its products perhaps as early as calendar year 2004.

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