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Toshiba demonstrates successful BPR HDD, is 2.5Tb per inch a platter's last stand?

Tim Stevens

We'll be honest: we thought SSDs would suck down most of platter-based storage's milkshake by now -- that magnetic disks would follow tapes into obscurity. Alas, SSDs are still niche items, and Toshiba is doing all it can to keep them that way, demonstrating a successful prototype of a new storage technique called bit-pattern recording that currently generates a storage density of 2.5Tb per square inch. That's about five times more dense than the company's current offerings, achieved by placing individual bits onto lithographed "islands" of magnetic material. This protects the charge of the individual bits and allows those sectors to be much smaller. Toshiba suggests we won't see these until 2013, but now we're left wondering what's next... can engineers stuff even more bits onto these things?

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