Fujitsu says it will be able to put 180GB on a single 2.5in hard drive platter before 2007.

The company has developed a new read/write disk head technology which will enable hard disk drive recording densities of up to 300GB per square inch, it was revealed this week.

Generally an increase in recording densities leads to notebook and desktop computers with higher storage capacities, usually for only a slight increase in price.

Current 2.5in hard disks can store around 30GB per disk platter. When Fujitsu commercialises its new disk head technology in two to four years' time it will lead to capacities of 180GB per platter, six times current capacities, Fujitsu said.

The breakthrough technology is known as Current-Perpendicular-to-Plane mode Giant Magneto-Resistive heads, or CPP-GMR. It is more sensitive to signals and can read and write data bits three times more compactly than existing heads.

Fujitsu expects to commercially produce drives based on CPP-GMR heads within two years for use in PCs and notebook computers, and particularly in the expected boom market for disk drive-based consumer electronics products such as game consoles and personal video recorders such as Tivo.

The high capacity of 2.5in hard disk drives will eventually make the bulkier 3.5in desktop drive form factor obsolete, Fujitsu said.