Researchers from Toshiba and Tohoku University in Japan have announced a new method of creating magnetic read heads that could boost hard drive storage density from the current record for a shipping product of 178.8Gb per square inch to beyond the 1Tb mark. The proposed next-generation technology would utilize Nanocontact Magnetic Resistance to boost the magnetoresistance of the drive head. Drive prototypes have demonstrated a magnetoresistance ratio that's twice as large as current read heads (140% at room temperature), as well as decreased resistances that should allow for further miniaturization of drive read heads. Toshiba doesn't expect to debut new drives based on the NC-MR design for another five years.
News source: Ars Technica