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A representative for Seagate Technologies, the world’s largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), said in an interview that perpendicular recording technology not only allows to improve capacity of HDDs, but also to improve their reliability.

“Perpendicular recording technology increases areal density, allowing more data pass under the drive head, which in turn increases the data transfer rate. Keep in mind that any increase in the areal density of the disc impacts both key hard drive performance factors: positioning speed and data transfer rate. We have also found that perpendicular recording improves reliability,” said Joni Clark, a product marketing manager for Seagate’s desktop PC business unit, in an interview with Sharky Extreme web-site.

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.

While the benefit that the perpendicular recording brings in terms of capacity is indisputable, other industry experts have not yet noted that the technology also improves reliability of hard disk drives. Moreover, Western Digital recently claimed that its yields of the media with perpendicular recording were lower compared to traditional horizontal recording tech.

Still, Seagate looks confident about its transition to perpendicular technology and has once again reiterated that it would transit most of its products to the new type of media by 2007.

“Seagate has stated that it expects the majority of its products to transition to use perpendicular recording by 2007,” Ms. Clark said.

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