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Perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology will be key to the hard disk drive industry and its adoption cannot be delayed, IDC claims in a new special report. Market research firm is sure that the PMR will be widely deployed as soon as in two years time.

The transition to PMR and to the new heads and media required for this technology will begin late in 2005 and will be broadly adopted in products by the end of 2007. IDC predicts that PMR will be ubiquitous in the 630 million hard drives shipped in 2009.

“The transition to PMR and to other new technologies should demand renewed focus on company business models, partnerships, and strategies,” said David Reinsel, director for Storage Research at IDC. “The required increase in investments (e.g., R&D spending, new manufacturing capacity, etc.), will drive further industry consolidation.”

Perpendicular recording gets its name from the vertical alignment of data bits on the plane of the disk, which takes less room in contrast to the horizontal orientation of today’s longitudinal recording technology. To be accurately recorded and read, the more closely-packed perpendicular bits also require a closer association between the read/write head and the recording media. Hitachi said earlier this year it had achieved the 230Gb/in2 density by manipulating the head and media so that the distance between them is a mere 10nm.

Within 5 years, PMR will reach areal densities of four to five times that of today’s technology, IDC believes. The large majority of small form factor hard drives shipped by 2008 will leverage perpendicular recording for capacity requirements, predicts research firm

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