We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

IBM's magic dust ups disk space

400GB drives should be in PCs within two years

IBM has found a way to quadruple hard disk sizes by coating disks with a special compound.

The company is adding a new type of magnetic coating, ruthenium, to its disk drives. Ruthenium is layered between the two magnetic layers of the disk platter. IBM refers to ruthenium as 'pixie dust', but it is also known as AFC (antiferromagnetically coupled) media.

The technology can be implemented without redesigning current disk drive plants, IBM claims. By 2003, each disk drive made with AFC technology will be able to store 100 million bits per square inch, the company says.

The technology is most likely to be used first in notebook hard disks, although it should eventually enter all IBM products.

IBM claims that within two years 100Gb density would allow 400GB desktop drives, 200GB notebook drives and 6GB - 13 hours of MPEG-4 compressed digital video - in handheld devices.

Magnetic hard drive density has doubled every 18 months through to 1996. Since then it has doubled every 12 months.

The company says it will be sharing the technology with other vendors.

IDG UK Sites

Acer Aspire R11 review: Hands-on with the 360 laptop and tablet convertible

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

See how Framestore created a shape-shifting, oil and metal based creature for Shell

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......