STORAGE VENDOR HGST has announced that it has developed self-assembling molecules and nanoimprinting to potentially double data density in hard disk drives.
HGST used to be known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies before Western Digital bought it, and has been working on lithography techniques to boost data density on hard disk platters. Now the firm has announced that it has been able to create patterns of magnetic islands that are 10nm wide, doubling present state of the art data density.
HGST Fellow Tom Albrecht described the self-assembling molecules as block copolymers that are made of segments that repel each other to create segments that are lined up in rows, and said that lab tests show promising read/write performance and data retention. The firm claims it has combined self-assembling molecules, line doubling and nanoimprinting down to the 10nm scale in a circular arrangement.
Albrecht said, "We made our ultra-small features without using any conventional photolithography. With the proper chemistry and surface preparations, we believe this work is extendible to ever-smaller dimensions."
HGST said self-assembling patterning and nanoimprinting can result in 1.2 trillion dots per inch, which it claims is twice the density of existing hard disk drives. According to the firm, its engineers have been able to create segments only 50 atoms wide.
Although HGST showed off the technology this week at the SPIE Advanced Lithography 2013 conference, the firm said it expects the technology to be cost effective by the end of the decade, that is if solid-state disk drives haven't eliminated the need for hard disk drives by then. µ
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