It sounds like a pipe dream, but for those who have followed the industry, you'll know that we've been dreaming about multi-terabyte hard drives for quite some time and capacities up to 4TB exist today. Prototypes have already made the rounds once or twice, but TDK has a new project that could enable 40TB hard drives by 2020. That's right, folks: 40TB on a single drive. At once, all of your archiving problems would be solved... until you outgrew even that, of course.
Presently, HDD recording density is boosted by the use of a technology called "high magnetic coercivity," but as you could probably guess from the lack of true increases recently, that's about at its limit. TDK's approach involves a heat-assisted recording technology. According to the company, in the new system "the coercivity of the medium, or the amount of reverse magnetic field required to change the value of the stored data, is temporarily reduced by heating it with a laser, which enables writing. As a result, the recording density is further increased."
If all goes well, the tech could be used in a shelf product by 2H 2015, but that sounds a little hopeful to us. We've had our dreams dashed by similar claims before, so we won't be holding our breath on this one. That said, we're still crossing our fingers and toes. Have a look at the video above for a better idea of what's to come.