60GB 1″ Drives
Think about it — a one-inch drive that can hold 60 gigabytes of information. Is it possible? It seems so.
CNET.com has a very interesting article on hard drive capacity. It states that the way we currently create hard drives will be hitting its limit soon. That would mean that the capacity could not increase. However, if they organize the bits differently, then it could continue expanding.
Basically (and I’m not a physicist, so this is very simplistic), the bits are laid down end to end on the drive. These bits have negative and positive charges. As capacity increases, these bits are getting closer together; ultimately, they will become unstable (superparamagnetism). Corrupt data will be the result.
If, however, they stand the bits up (perpendicular recording), they can continue adding capacity for some time to come. This is not a final answer, but a way to provide more time to find another answer for increasing capacity needs.
If you’re look for a quick overview that’s entertaining, check out Toshiba’s animation — it’s great!