Seagate has been working on HAMR technology for 20 years, but it wasn’t until the end of last year that they managed to create their first 20 TB capacity hard drive using it. To do this, they used a set of materials and disks developed by themselves, but now with the association with Showa Denko, they intend to accelerate the development of this technology much more and bring hard disks up to 80 TB much closer in the chronological axis.
Seagate and its HARM 80TB drives, how will they do it?
Showa Denko is one of the world’s largest raw material suppliers, and with a huge R&D budget they have also been investing in HAMR technology for over 10 years now. In February last year they successfully completed the first glass platters for HAMR hard drives and are already mass-producing them; claim that this can reach a storage density of 6 TB per square inch in the future, and that maintaining the usual form factor of 3.5 ″ means that with 8-9 dishes we can reach capacities of 70-80 TB on the records of the future.
Under this new collaboration agreement, Seagate will inspect and evaluate Showa Denko drives with HAMR technology and, if they confirm that they work properly and are compatible with their own platforms, they will propose to buy the company to integrate their technology in the future. with your own hard drives. Recall that Seagate also works on HAMR disks of up to 80 TB capacity for the future, and this association would serve precisely to accelerate the arrival of these densities.
Showa Denko is the largest independent manufacturer in the hard drive industry. Its products mainly use vertical PMR recording and SMR recording technology. It also supplies MAMR (microwave assisted recording) discs to Toshiba, and if they can now cooperate with Seagate they will naturally strengthen their presence in the storage market.
The future of hard drives, in the hands of HAMR technology?
We have been talking for a long time that the persistence in the mechanical hard disk market is in doubt due to the enormous development that NAND Flash memory technology is undergoing, which translates into SSDs with increasing capacities, more resistance and better performance. The strength of mechanical disks is undoubtedly their capacity / price ratio, and on this they are basing their reason for being the main manufacturers in the industry such as Seagate, WD and Toshiba.
That is why they continue to insist on developing better technologies that allow them to increase the density and thus the capacity of hard drives (remember that although today we are talking about 80 TB drives, they have long been postulated for hard drives for a long time). 100 TB or even more), and of these HAMR technologies seems the most promising of all, firstly because of the enormous increase in density it entails, secondly because the technology is already a reality and thirdly because it will allow them to maintain the 3.5 form factor. inches.
We cannot rule out that in the future if we want hard drives beyond 80 or 100 TB of capacity, we will have to give up the current 3.5-inch form factor, and although that would not be the end of the world in the computer industry at all. PC, especially in business and data center environments, it could be somewhat traumatic.