New hard drive platters could lead to big jump in storage space

Earlier this month, word got out that a new technique for making PC hard drives could allow those drives to contain double the amount of data storage compared to the current generation of these products. But now another research team has created a new way to make a hard drive platter that, if successful, could allow those platters to increase their storage capacity up to six times the amount allowed by current technology.

How would this be done? First we need to know how current platters in hard drives are made. As reported by Wired.com, at the moment platters are covered in nanoscopic grains that are randomly distributed. These grains store data in disorganized clumps and hold about 500 GB of data per square inch. Now a team based in Singapore's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering has revealed a new way to make those platters work more efficiently.

Their idea was to make the grains in the platters slightly larger and to place them in regular patters. This process is helped by adding sodium chloride to the mix. Yes, regular salt like you would put on your food could be used to help make better hard drives. As a spokesperson for the institute said, "It's like packing your clothes in your suitcase when you travel. The neater you pack them the more you can carry."

The team feels that with this new method they could create hard drive platters that could store many times times the amount of data that is possible at the moment. So that fancy new 2 TB hard drive you just bought for your PC gaming rig could in fact store up to 12 TB of data under this new technique. There's no word on when or even if this will be included on future hard drives.

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