With the introduction of SSD’s of increasing capacity are also much faster than hard disk drives, many people have prematurely declared the future to be bleak for the humble hard disk drive. In the last few days however, two scientific papers have been released proposing methods by which the capacity and eventually the speed of hard disk drives can be significantly increased.
The first is a method using heat assisted magnetic recording, which uses microwave signals, will allow multiple data layers to be recorded onto a single platter. The latest prediction is a 10 fold increase in the effective areal density possible.
The second shows experimental work using quantum physics and laser pulses to alter the magnetic data at the atomic level. If successful the proposed data capacity possible on a 3.5” disk could be 300TB and 100TB on a 2.5” hard drive, while the data throughput thought possible is ten thousand times the speed currently available. This is still very much at the theoretical and experimental stage, but past indicators suggest this technology will become reality.