The humble HDD has been written off many times when compared to the flash based SSD, but following Hitachi's latest breakthrough a little more mileage has been found in its ageing legs.
The storage guru is boasting that it expects desktop HDD storage capacities to now reach more than four terabytes (4,000 gigabytes) by 2011 following a significant breakthrough.
Heralding what it dubs the 'Terabyte Era' is its creation of a vastly reduced read-write head which is 2000x times smaller than the width of a human hair (just consider this for a moment... isn't technology great!). This achievement means that information can be packed more tightly together yet still remain readable allowing more storage capacity to be compiled on each square inch of the drive.
"This is an achievement for consumers as much as it is for Hitachi," said Hitachi Research Director Hiroaki Odawara. "It allows Hitachi to fuel the growth of the ‘Terabyte Era' of storage, which we started, and gives consumers virtually limitless ability for storing their digital content."
Not to rain too much on Mr Odawara's parade, but he also expects the breakthrough to allow 1TB laptop (2.5in) HDDs by 2011. This is exactly the same date that SSDs, with their current year-on-year exponential growth rates, are predicted to hit the same milestone.
Still, that's a scary story we won't tell Mr Odawara for a few days.