Skip to Main Content
Hard-drive technology is at a critical point in its history. Vendors are hitting limits on the amount of data that current technology can read and write on a square inch of disk space. While hard drive capacity will continue to increase, the rate of areal-density growth will likely slow. This will hurt companies such as Maxtor, that make much of their revenue by selling new and bigger hard drives on an ongoing basis. Moreover, hard drive prices per gigabyte of storage capacity have fallen because of industry advances, thereby reducing many vendors' profit margins. For this reason, researchers are developing new approaches that could increase storage density and capacity. The most important forces driving future hard drive demand will be home entertainment devices, although products such as camcorders, cameras, and PDAs will also play an important role.