Hard drive densities will double in size by 2016

It looks like Seagate’s prediction that the densities of hard disk drives will double by 2016 are proving right, according to IHS iSuppli.

The analyst outfit said that the increase in densities should boost the continued sales of hard drives in data-intensive applications such as video and audio systems.

The technology which is likely to lead the way will be things like heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006.

Seagate claims it will have a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016 using the technology. But iSuppli thinks laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB at the same time.

Areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016. In 2011 this figure was a meagre 744 Gbits per square inch.

From 2011 to 2016, the five-year compound annual growth rate for HDD areal densities will be equivalent to 19 percent, IHS iSuppli claimed.

This year it looks like areal densities will reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year.

Fang Zhang, an analyst for storage systems at IHS, said that the rise in areal density will pave the way for continued growth of the hard disk drive industry.