Microwave breakthrough helps boost hard drive sizes

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Web giants along with large firms rely on cheap hard drives to store information in data centres

The data-storing abilities of hard drives could soon swell to 40 terabytes (TB) along with beyond, says Western Digital.

Currently the largest hard disk drive (HDD) in which stores data on spinning disks can hold about 14TB of information.

Western Digital said the bigger drives were made possible by finding a way to use microwaves to write data on 3.5in drives.

The first bigger-capacity drives should go on sale in 2019.

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While solid state drives are well-known with home users, many large companies along with web firms fill data centres with disks in which depend on moving parts because, at high capacities, they are much cheaper along with last longer. The drives store data on disks or platters in which spin at high speed.

A disk which has a data capacity of 40 terabytes could be able to hold more than 2,500 two-hour movies encoded at a standard resolution.

Western Digital said the idea could produce the big drives as the idea had found a way to raise the density of data recorded on a disk by using microwaves – a technique known as microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR). The company will be the first to produce a disk in which uses This kind of technology.

An allied method in which uses heat instead of microwaves was thought to be the best way to help HDDs grow in capacity although the idea will be known to be an expensive along with technically tricky way to boost data density. The resulting devices, whose platters must be regularly heated beyond 400C, can also suffer reliability problems.

Heat-assisted magnetic recording also requires alterations in manufacturing plants along with the materials used to make the magnetic platters in which hold data. By contrast, MAMR requires far fewer alterations to manufacturing along with works with materials currently used to make HDDs.

In a statement, Western Digital said the idea had produced prototype MAMR drives This kind of year, along with could give engineering samples to key customers in 2018 along with start volume production in 2019. By 2025, further refinement of the technology could push capacities past 40TB, the idea said.

the idea added in which a novel method of boosting data capacities was needed as the idea was getting harder to squeeze more data into HDDs using existing techniques.

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