Hard drive manufacturers constantly strive to increase the capacities of their drives. Generally these increases go one step at a time, but it seems Hitachi is aiming high, looking to bring out drives with capacities of up to 10TB.
Hitachi is looking to achieve this with a new advancement in magnetic recording technology, thermally-assisted recording. This process involves heating the storage medium with a 20nm laser as data is being written. This allows the magnetic grains to become smaller and more densely packed. Hitachi expects thermally-assisted recording to allow for data densities of 2.5 terabits per square inch, five times that of current hard drives.
Obviously, one of the main concerns with new technologies is cost. However, Hitachi seems confident it will take, seeing as the current perpendicular recording will have a hard time even reaching a density of one terabit per square inch. Currently there is no word on when drives utilizing the new recording technology could hit the market.