Seagate, possibly the biggest hard drive manufacturer, has just smashed the record for data storage and are now able to store 1TB of data in just 1 square inch of space. This doubles the areal density of current hard drives meaning that in the very near future the 3.5 inch desktop hard drives are going to be able to hold 6 Terabytes of data while the mini 2.5 inch laptop drives will hold up to 2 Terabytes. However, Seagate is promising that they will be able to soon expand that capacity 10 times to 60TB and 20TB.
According to Extremetech, this is done through a new writing process called HAMR:
HAMR, which was originally demonstrated by Fujitsu in 2006, adds a laser to the hard drive head. The head seeks as normal, but whenever it wants to write data the laser turns on (pictured below). Reading data is done in the conventional way.
This is great news in our endless quest to store more data. I currently have about 4 external hard drives floating around my place (each a TB or more) so eventually being able to combine them into one drive would be utterly fantastic.