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Fujitsu plans to boost drive capacity with advanced lubricants

Marc Perton

It may not have the same "wow" factor as advances such as holographic storage or perpendicular recording (and probably doesn't have a funky flash video showing off its features), but Fujitsu has plans to increase hard drive capacity using advanced lubricants. The idea seems fairly simple: if you can reduce the space between the read/write head and the platter, you can squeeze more data into a smaller space. The problem is, there's only so close the head can get to the drive without causing damage. However, as Fujitsu sees it, new lubricants could eliminate such concerns, allowing the head to float a mere 2 nanometers above the drive, compared with 10 nm as is typical with current drives. While Fujitsu is being coy about specifics, the company boasts that the technology could allow hard drives with a capacity of 1 terabit per square inch by 2010. That would double the density offered by InPhase's holographic drives, which currently hold a record at a half-terabit per inch. So, as long as Fujitsu's lubrication solution doesn't involve, say, submerging your PC's innards in a tank of vegetable oil, we're ready for it.

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