Remember way back when, back in the ‘80s and hard drives that only held a few megabytes cost hundreds of dollars? I’d rather not either. Fortunately for consumers, the price of physical storage has been plummeting in the last few years. Even the SSDs that get so much praise are becoming more and more affordable. The technology is improving too. If you want a few terabytes of storage then you can get it without much hassle. Now thanks to A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute, hard drives are about to get a lot better.

A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute is in the process of creating a 5mm thick hybrid HDD. The “A-Drive”, as they’re calling it, is so thin that it could be put into tablets. The drives are expected to have a whole terabyte of hard disc. In addition to that, it will have a 32GB solid state drive for the operating system of the device you’re using it in. Just imagine if you had that much storage in your iPad!

To make this magic happen, the Institute created a revolutionary proprietary axial field motor. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. What that amounts to is that the hybrid hard drive is better than the older hard drives in every way. They’re quieter, cheaper and use less energy. This could innovate mobile devices in ways we can only begin to imagine. If these become standard, tablets can start to run more complex and sophisticated operating systems. There’s no word on production yet, so keep an eye out.

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