With certain exceptions, talk of advanced hard drive technology regularly has a tough time escaping research labs. Western Digital’s HGST is promising a much more tangible project that could boost data capacities by a wide margin. By filling the gaps between drive platters with less buffeting-prone helium instead of air, HGST can safely fit as many as seven platters in a typical, 3.5-inch desktop hard drive instead of the current five. Going with the lower density gas creates a raft of side benefits, such as fitting more data on a single platter along with reducing the drag that both slows down and heats up the disk. We’ll have to wait until 2013 to see shipping helium-filled drives in our PCs; given the slightly exotic nature of the technique, though, we wouldn’t count on HGST or Western Digital handing out drives for free like balloons at a birthday party.
Filed under: Storage