New LSI hardware to boost hard disk drive storage capacity

LSI has announced a new family of so-called preamplifiers, the TrueStore PA5200, which will allow hard disk designers to “increase areal density”. In other words, LSI says that this integrated circuit, which costs between $0.89 and $1.89 when bought in large quantities, will make it possible to pack more bits per unit area.

The TrueStore PA5200 achieves that feat by improving on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) which allows HDD manufacturers to achieve greater manufacturing yield, which translates into lower manufacturing costs and higher margins for them.

The IC is technology-agnostic and can be used on all hard disk drives including hybrid solutions, but not SSD. When probed on numbers, LSI told us “The areal density increase will vary depending on system parameters that are proprietary to our customers, so we are not publicly sharing the absolute value of the benefit. We expect that all of our customers will be able to realize areal density gains from the improved noise performance of the PA5200 series preamplifiers.”

The recently-announced 4TB member of the Seagate 7200.15 series, which packs a 1TB platter, offers an areal density of 625Gbit per square inch.