CWmike writes: "The maximum areal densities of hard disk drives are expected to more than double by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. Hard drive company Seagate has also predicted a doubling of drive density, and now IHS iSuppli is confirming what the vendor community already knew. Leading the way for greater disk density will be technologies such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006. Seagate has already said it will be able to produce a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016. Laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB in the same time frame, IHS iSuppli stated. It said areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch in 2011. Areal density equals bit density, or bits of information per inch of a track multiplied by tracks per inch on a drive platter. From 2011 to 2016, the five-year compound annual growth rate for HDD areal densities will be equivalent to 19%, IHS iSuppli wrote in its report. This year, hard drive areal densities are estimated to reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year. '"The rise in areal density will pave the way for continued growth of the [hard disk drive] industry,' said Fang Zhang, an analyst for storage systems at IHS."