Diskcon: Toshiba's bit patterning, Samsung's HDDs


At DISKCON 2010 (Sept. 9-10, Santa Clara, CA), Toshiba Corp. presented details behind its use of bit-patterned media (BPM) to fabricate a hard disk with an areal density of 2.5TB/in2 and a practical servo pattern. According to the company, BPM technology is a leading candidate to achieve terabit-class high density HDD recording, which could result in 25TB of data on one 3.5" drive. The company anticipates practical application of BPM technology around 2013.

The microstructure of the self-assembled bit-patterned media (BPM) is visible in the figure below. An etching mask enabled Toshiba to lay down the dots in a servo pattern, shown in the enlarged area, readable by a hard drive. Each dot—a single magnetic grain 17nm in size—is one bit.

Also at Diskcon, Samsung Electronics responded to consumer demand for high-definition content with new products in optical disk drive (ODD) technology, and rapid growth from 2-3TB to 4TB HDDs in 2011. Richard Aguilera, national sales manager at Samsung Electronics, outlined the company's optical disk drive division product roadmap and summarized the market drivers, especially high-definition (HD) content, highlighting new products particularly in the BluRay sector. In the second half of this year, the company will come out with a 12X writer that will enable the consumer to write HD content and record it to an optical disk drive (ODD) and play it back on a consumer device. The company is also addressing the legacy market with new SATA and PATA formats.


SEM image, showing the microstructure of self-assembled bit patterned media. (source: Toshiba Corp.)

Albert Kim, director of sales for storage products at Samsung Electronics, noted how the consumers' drive to store/save content, (videos, photos, music, etc.) is driving mass storage devices. After releasing a 2TB (3.5in. desktop drive) HDD at DISKCON 2010, the company will be releasing a 3TB drive, and then a 4TB drive in 2011. — D.V., J.M., M.C.

Check out Debra Vogler's interviews with Toshiba and Samsung execs at

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