Hard drive company Seagate Technology announced Thursday that it achieved a data-storage milestone, upping the storage capacity of a hard disk to about three times that of currently shipping disks. Seagate squeezed more than 100 gigabits per square inch onto a hard disk using the equivalent of commonly available hardware, the company said. This increase in "areal density" means that 125 gigabytes of capacity can be put onto a single 3.5-inch disk--which translates to about 63 hours of DVD-quality video, or nearly 40,000 songs. Existing disks hold 40 gigabytes.
"We (used) an actual (disk drive) head that can both read and write data--just like a normal head in a drive," said David Szabados, a Seagate spokesman. "Some of the earlier announcements by other companies may boast of achieving high areal densities, but they're doing this using two separate heads." Szabados said the research would be reflected in actual products in a year and a half to two years.