Capacities of hard drives have grown as researchers have crammed more bits of data closer together while also making the heads sensitive enough to read the data. The industry looks to new technologies every time physical limitations kick in, and GMR - which allows for extremely thin layers of alternating metals to detect weak changes in magnetism - was one of the breakthroughs that led to the fastest growth rate in the early 2000s, allowing hard drives to double in capacity every year.
But GMR-based heads maxed out, and the industry replaced the technology in recent years with an entirely different kind of head. Yet researchers are predicting that technology will soon run into capacity problems, and now GMR is making a comeback as the next-generation successor.
I love living in a world where seven years ago is old-fashioned stuff. Faster, please; I want to... stockpile some media.
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