SSDs have reduced in price to the point where even new games consoles will ship with one next month, but for massive amounts of affordable storage in your PC, mechanical hard drives still win. 18TB drives are already available, and Seagate is now promising to increase that to 50TB by 2026.
The company said last month that it still intends to ship a 20TB HAMR hard drive before the end of 2020, and this was reiterated in a Q1 2021 earnings call last week. However, Seagate went a step further, with CEO Dave Mosley stating, “we believe HAMR technology will be the industry’s path to scaling areal density and increasing drive capacities. Seagate will be the first to ship this crucial technology with a path to deliver 50-terabyte HAMR drives forecast in 2026.”
Back in February, Japanese company Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), which is the world’s largest manufacturer of hard drive platters, announced that Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) had been improved to the point where 80TB drives will be possible eventually. So a 50TB hard drive will be produced along the way, be that from SDK or Seagate. In order to get there, though, HAMR technology will need to help push data density from today’s 1.14Tb per square inch to 6Tb per square inch.
As Tom’s Hardware points out, Western Digital already offers a 20TB hard drive, but it uses shingled magnetic recording (SMR). Seagate’s equivalent 20TB HAMR drive is expected to offer a number of performance advantages when it arrives. It’s unlikely to be readily available though as production ramps up and data centers grab stock, and certainly not cheap.
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Heat-assisted magnetic recording, Seagate Technology, Hard disk drive, Western Digital
World news – GB – Seagate Expects to Start Selling 50TB HAMR Hard Drives in 2026