Last year the Hard Drive manufacturing industry started releasing drives with perpendicular recording technology, in an effort to maintain a steady growth in disk capacity. Of course, while the new technology is certainly welcomed, it's only a temporary fix. The race is still on to develop new technology to further increase drive capacity, with "heat-assisted magnetic recording", and "patterned media" being two viable options.
"Perpendicular hard drive technology, which started appearing last year, currently lets manufacturers increase drive density, or the amount of data stored, by around 50 percent annually. But that pace of progress will likely sputter in about four to five years.
To keep progress going, the first disks based on new technology will need to enter the market around 2011. Competitors differ, however, on how and when ideas for revamping drives should become reality."