The wild and wacky frontier of hard drive technology is always full of surprising new ways to keep those drive capacities growing, and this new patent for leaking nanotube-housed lubricant onto disc platters is no exception. Apparently, a heated hard disc is capable of cramming more data into closer quarters, but the method hasn't been implemented in current drives since the heat evaporates the lubricant that allows the recording head to travel smoothly over the disc, causing a fatal disc crash. Seagate's new patent addresses the issue by storing lubricant in a special material made from millions of carbon nanotubes and embedded in the drive housing. As the disc spins, lubricant is slowly leaked out, and the disc can be kept safe for its whole lifetime. The upshot of all this is that Seagate can use the heat-assisted recording to cram several terabits per square inch into a drive -- 10 times as much data into the disc than is currently possible. We guess there'll be a bit of a wait for this to make it to market, but we greatly look forward to an educational video on the subject all the same.

[Via New Scientist]

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