Alongside today’s 8 TB hard drive portfolio reveal, storage giant Seagate also announced a major breakthrough in areal density with a new hard disk that can offer as much as 2 TB of capacity in a slim 2.5″, 7mm package – perfect for high capacity notebooks.

“In an industry first, our engineers have been able to boost areal density to 1 TB per platter in a 2.5-inch form factor, which will give OEMs the flexibility to design and build virtually any kind of mobile device they can envision, with plenty of storage to boot,” said Mark Re, Seagate’s chief technology officer. “Combining new mechanical firmware architectures, with state of the art heads, media and electronic design, this technology is a real game changer- providing four times more capacity than a 0.25 TB SSD at a substantially lower cost.”

The new drive technology is said to be the first to incorporate recording-subsystem components—head, media, preamp, channel—to achieve even greater areal densities. The result is a drive that weighs just 3.17 oz. – 25% lighter than the previous generation of Seagate’s mobile hard drives.

While today’s breakthrough was achieved with a traditional hard drive format, Seagate is also examining a hybrid format. According to today’s announcement, such a drive would combine NAND flash with proprietary learning algorithms, to deliver supreme performance and a richer consumer experience at a much lower cost than comparable solid state drives.

There’s no word on when we can expect to see mobile devices packing 2 TB capacities on the shelves of your local big-box store, but I’m sure we’ll hear more from PC manufacturers early next year, if not before.