Hitachi develops world’s smallest read-head technology for hard disk drives

Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies have developed the world’s smallest read-head technology for hard disk drives, which is expected to quadruple current storage capacity limits to four terabytes (TB) on a desktop hard drive and one TB on a notebook hard drive. Researchers at Hitachi have successfully reduced existing recording heads by more than a factor of two to achieve new heads in the 30-50 nanometer (nm) range, which is up to 2,000 times smaller than the width of an average human hair (approx. 70-100 microns). Called current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magneto-resistive heads, Hitachi’s new technology is expected to be implemented in shipping products in 2009 and reach its full potential in 2011.

Recording heads with 50 nm track-widths are expected to debut in commercial products in 2009, while those with 30 nm track-widths will be implemented in products in 2011. Current TMR heads, shipping in products today, have track-widths of 70 nm. Hitachi will present these achievements at the 8th Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference (PMRC 2007), to be held 15th -17th October 2007, at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan.