Helium-using hard disks will push storage capacities up to the 18TB mark in just a couple of years, according to a new report.
Storage research firm TrendFocus reckons that drive manufacturers will be able to dispense with disk platter separator components, which will allow for more platters to be squeezed into a 3.5-inch enclosure.
Because of that, we could be looking at nine platter drives with the platters themselves a touch larger too, and able to hold 1.5TB of data each, pushing up to a capacity of near-14TB when we reach next year.
That's using perpendicular magnetic recording tech, but a switch to shingled magnetic recording will facilitate a further boost in capacity still, with 18TB drives expected to arrive by 2018.
Capacity for the cloud
Of course, these drives will be pitched at the likes of hyper-scale data centres and cloud operators, but as ever when technology pushes forward at the cutting edge there's always a trickle-down effect which will reach lower-end drives suitable for consumers and small businesses.
On the SSD front, we've already seen large drives hitting the likes of 13TB sizes, and Samsung has a 16TB model which recently started shipping in limited quantities (be warned that it is prohibitively expensive, as are all these massive SSDs).