Using a laser flash of only 40 billionths of a millionth of a second, scientists have learned how to alter the magnetism of one bit of hard drive disc 100x faster than technologies on the market today do—meaning hard drive writing speeds would increase proportionally. This technological leap is due to heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) in which photons are used alter polarity. But any too-good-to-be-true technology has its caveats...First off, the demonstrated recording area runs 5 microns in width, which is approximately 10 times wider than current recording areas (meaning drives couldn't hold as much information). Also, in a supreme case of irony, this new technology will do nothing to affect reading speeds, meaning that accessing the written information won't see a speed boost. Still, we're always hopeful of new innovations on existing media formats.
Lasers Could Make HDs 100 Times Faster [infoworld]