from the defrag-with-windex dept.
Using a glass substrate instead of aluminum could allow 12 platters to be crammed into a 3.5" hard disk drive enclosure:
Even if many modern systems eschew classic hard drive storage designs in favor of solid state alternatives, there are still a number of companies working on improving the technology. One of those is Hoya, which is currently prototyping glass substrates for hard drive platters of the future which could enable the production of drives with as much as 20TB of storage space.
Hard drive platters are traditionally produced using aluminum substrates. While these substrates have enabled many modern advances in hard drive technology, glass substrates can be made with similar densities, but can be much thinner, leading to higher capacity storage drives. Hoya has already managed the creation of substrates as thin as 0.381mm, which is close to half the thickness of existing high-density drives.
In one cited example, an existing 12-terabyte drive from Western Digital was made up of eight platters. Hoya believes that by decreasing the thickness of the platters through its glass technology, it could fit as many as 12 inside a 3.5 inch hard drive casing. That would enable up to 18TB of storage space in a single drive (thanks Nikkei).
When that is blended with a technology known as "shingled magnetic recording," 20TB should be perfectly achievable.
Toshiba is reportedly planning to release a 14 TB helium-filled hard drive by the end of the year.
Also at Network World.
« San Diego Power-Washing Streets to Fight Hepatitis A Outbreak | Tesla's Semiautonomous System Contributed to Fatal Crash »
Western Digital recently announced plans to use Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) to build its next generation of hard disk drives instead of Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR). WD promised that initial drives will ship in 2019, with 40 terabyte drives available by 2025.
In response, Seagate has reiterated its plans to produce HAMR hard disk drives in the near future. The company says that its first HAMR drives will ship around 2018-2019 (40,000 have already been built and are being tested by leading customers), at capacities of 16 TB or more. From there, Seagate expects to develop drives storing around 50 TB "early next decade", and eventually drives with capacities of up to 100 TB by combining HAMR with bit-patterned media and two-dimensional magnetic recording (PDF):
HDD technology has become somewhat boring. Innovation has slowed, but that's largely because we've reached the limits of PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording), which is the key underlying HDD recording technology. Over the last two years, we've seen a few interesting new technologies that let us cram more bits into the same old 3.5" HDD, such as SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording). Unfortunately, the new tech comes with slower performance and often requires radical system changes if you want to unlock the full performance. That isn't worth the small capacity improvement unless you're deploying tens of thousands of HDDs.
[...] WD's MAMR relies largely upon proven technologies, which is a plus, but Seagate claimed that it's already producing the more exotic HAMR drives on the same production lines as its existing PMR-based drives. It also said that it has already built a strong supply chain for the new materials.
Both WD and Seagate have solid arguments for their chosen technologies, but the market will determine the winner. Both technologies will undoubtedly provide similar characteristics to today's HDDs, such as endurance, reliability, performance, and power specifications, so cost will be the true differentiator. As always, cheap and good enough will win. The HDD industry settled on PMR recording in 2005, and all three big vendors continue to use the same underlying technology. The move to two different technologies should make for a more exciting HDD future. Seagate plans to provide an update on its progress in early 2018.
Western Digital is planning to use Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) instead of Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) to produce hard drives with capacities of up to 40 terabytes by 2025:
WD has selected MAMR (Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording) as its new HDD recording technology, which the company claims can enable up to 40TB HDDs by 2025. WD's rapid transition to MAMR is somewhat surprising, but the technology has been in development for nearly a decade. It certainly stands in contrast to Seagate's plans for using the laser-assisted HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) as the route to higher storage density.
The transition to the new recording process isn't immediate, but WD plans to have initial products shipping by 2019, and it had working demo models this week at its event in San Jose. The improved recording technology is needed to keep HDDs cost-competitive with the surging SSDs, but economics dictate that SSDs will never replace HDDs entirely, especially as the volume of data continues to grow exponentially; WD predicts that HDDs will account for ~90% of data center storage in 2020.
The technology announcement reportedly took the storage industry by surprise and MAMR doesn't have the same issues that have delayed HAMR:
WD pointed out that MAMR requires absolutely no external heating of the media that could lead to reliability issues. The temperature profiles of MAMR HDDs (both platters and drive temperature itself) are expected to be similar to those of the current generation HDDs. It was indicated that the MAMR drives would meet all current data center reliability requirements.
Based on the description of the operation of MAMR, it is a no-brainer that HAMR has no future in its current form. Almost all hard drive industry players have a lot more patents on HAMR compared to MAMR. It remains to be seen if the intellectual property created on the HAMR side is put to use elsewhere.
Will we have 100 TB by 2032?
Seagate has launched three new 12 TB helium-filled hard disk drives containing eight perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platters:
These are not the first 12TB drives in the market, as enterprise versions from both Seagate and Western Digital have been around for some time. However, Seagate is the first vendor to bring down the prices and ship 12TB drives in the consumer market.
From a hardware viewpoint, the three drives are similar to the Seagate Enterprise Capacity v7 drives launched in March 2017. All of them features eight PMR platters with a 923 Gb/in2 areal density in a sealed enclosure filled with helium. That said, the Barracuda Pro Compute, meant for desktop use, doesn't come with rotational vibration (RV) sensors or dual-plane motor balancing hardware. The RV sensors and the dual-plane balance / AgileArray features enable reliable performance in multi-drive enclosures. The other important differentiation aspects include firmware features, warranty / workload ratings, and value-added services like the Seagate Rescue Data Recovery.
Two of the drives come with 5 year warranties.
Previously: HGST Announces 10 Terabyte PMR Hard Drive
AnandTech Interview With Seagate's CTO: New HDD Technologies Coming
Seagate's 12 TB HDDs Are in Use, and 16 TB is Planned for 2018
Western Digital Begins Shipping 12 TB Helium-Filled Drives with 8 Platters
Seagate HAMR Hard Drives Coming in a Year and a Half
Glass Substrate Could Enable Hard Drives With 12 Platters