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Western Digital, a leading maker of hard disk drives, has announced that it had achieve record areal density using its perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)/tunneling magneto-resistive (TuMR) head technology. The achievement will allow the company to product 3TB hard disk drives in about three years time.

Following WD’s growing investments in technology the past five years, the company achieved 520Gb/inch? using its own perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)/tunneling magneto-resistive (TuMR) head technology. This level of density produces a 3.5” hard drive storing 640GB-per-platter and single hard drive capacities as large as 3TB. Based on the industry’s current density growth rate of more than 40% per year, those capacities are expected to be available in the 2010 timeframe.

Earlier this month Hitachi-GST also indicated that it expected to achieve areal density of 500Gb/inch? – 1Tb/inch? using perpendicular magnetic recording and current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magnetoresistive (CPP-GMR) heads and touted 4TB hard disk drives (HDDs) in 2011.

WD demonstrated 520Gb/inch? density in its Magnetic Head Operation labs in Fremont, California, earlier this month.

“The milestone was realized using our current-technology MgO reader, illustrating the extendibility of PMR-TuMR head technology generations into the future,” said Hossein Moghadam, chief technology officer for WD.

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