Storage solution manufacturer Western Digital
demonstrated its new heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology at the 2013 China International Forum on Advanced Materials and Commercialization. WD's vice president of technology, Dr. William Cain, gave his presentation "Magnetic Hard Disk Media: Enabling High Density Data Storage," on a Windows PC powered by a WD HAMR 2.5-inch hard drive.
HAMR technology may offer a solution for increasing data density by magnetically recording data on high-stability media using laser thermal assistance. The technology shrinks data bits in a stable manner by briefly heating the disk surface during magnetic head recording. The method can increase data density by a factor of more than five, and ultimately results in storage capacities as great as four terabits per square inch.
WD faces challenges associated with HAMR technology, including designing media that manages the increasing complexities of simultaneously meeting magnetic, thermal and optical requirements; laser light path integration; and head-disk interface reliability. Widespread adoption of the technology is at least two years away. Without HAMR, or similar data density increasing technologies, magnetic media is said to be at max density limited by physics now.