10 times bigger: Toshiba and Hitachi shake hands to bring us next-gen HDDs

hitachi_toshibaNeither one of the companies involved have confirmed this officially so far, but the Nikkei, Japan’s biggest business publication is usually very reliable: According to that source, Hitachi and Toshiba are joining forces to take the leadership in the field of next-generation HDDs that have 10 times the memory capacity of models today.

Both companies are pretty big players in the HDD market: Hitachi is the world’s third biggest maker, while Toshiba is No. 4. The new HDDs are supposed to be ready by 2012. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry throws in $48 million in financial support for the project.

Nanotechnology will be used to boost recording density, leading to smaller HDDs for the end consumer and energy consumption cuts of more than 20% for data centers. In the end, recording density should be as high as 5 terabits (5 trillion bits) per square inch, ten times more than now.

An earlier version with five times the memory capacity of existing models is planned to be ready by the end of fiscal 2010 (March 2011 under the usual Japanese definition).

Via Nikkei [JP]