At the DailyTech this week we find news that Hitachi has some new technology for the hard drive head that will enable development of 4 TB drives by 2011
This breakthrough has produced read-heads in the 30-50 nanometer range, approximately 2,000 times smaller than the width of an average human hair. This new technology is called current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magnetoresistive heads.
…These new heads will allow Hitachi to expand storage capacity in standard 3.5-inch desktop hard drives to 4TB and extend 2.5-inch laptop hard drives to 1TB of capacity. Hitachi says that it plans to integrate these new heads into hard drives starting in 2009 and that the technology will reach maturity in 2011.
In addition to being able to write more data on a drive, the new heads are evidently a lot quieter. It will be a treat to not be able to hear my Tivo writing Family Guy to disk on Sunday night.