Seagate Confirms 30TB+ HAMR HDDs in Q3, Envisions 50TB Drives in a Few Years

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Seagate this week confirmed plans to launch the business’s first 30+ TB exhausting drive that makes use of its warmth assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) expertise, in addition to reaffirming its dedication to launch HDDs with capacities of fifty TB and better in a number of years. However earlier than this occurs, the corporate will launch 22 TB and 24 TB HDDs that may depend on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) and shingled magnetic recording (SMR) applied sciences, respectively.

One Extra Play for PMR and SMR

Varied vitality assisted magnetic recording strategies, similar to HAMR, shall be used for subsequent generations of exhausting drives for years to return. However whereas PMR is working out of steam, it’s nonetheless evolving. Seagate has managed to extend areal density enabled by its PMR + TDMR platform by round 10%, enabling 2.2 TB 3.5-inch HDD platters and thus 22 TB exhausting drives that includes 10 of such disks. Moreover, by utilizing shingled recording, these drives can have their capability stretched to 22 TB.

These 22 TB and 24 TB Seagate Exos drives will doubtless be drop-in suitable with current cloud datacenter {hardware} in addition to infrastructure, and mustn’t require in depth validation and certification procedures, in contrast to brand-new HAMR HDDs. Because of this, Seagate’s prospects will be capable to deploy such exhausting drives pretty shortly and enhance storage density and storage capability of their datacenters.

Seagate is now ramping up manufacturing of its 22 TB exhausting drives for datacenters, so anticipate the corporate to begin their shipments shortly. Seagate shouldn’t be disclosing when precisely it would formally launch its 22 TB and 24 TB components, however we might anticipate them to reach earlier than the corporate introduces its HAMR-based HDDs; so assume Q1 or Q2.

30+ TB HDDs Coming in Q3

In reality, Seagate has been delivery HAMR HDDs to pick prospects for analysis in addition to inside its personal Lyve storage programs for some time, however these drives featured capacities akin to these of PMR/CMR HDDs and weren’t obtainable in enormous volumes. With Seagate’s 2nd technology HAMR platform, the corporate goes after increased volumes, however it took the corporate fairly a while to get there. The primary pre-qualification high-capacity HAMR-based HDDs are solely simply now on the point of head out to prospects for analysis.

“We’re assembly or exceeding all product growth milestones and reliability metrics, and we shall be delivery pre-qualification models to key cloud prospects within the coming weeks,” said Dave Mosley, chief govt of Seagate. 

In the meantime, business HAMR exhausting drives with capacities of 30TB or increased will ship in third quarter of this 12 months, which is in-line with what Seagate promised final 12 months.

“On account of this progress, we now anticipate to launch our 30-plus terabyte platform within the June quarter, barely forward of schedule,” stated Mosley. “The velocity of the preliminary HAMR quantity ramp will depend upon plenty of elements, together with product yields and buyer qualification timelines.”

Initially Seagate will solely provide its HAMR expertise for its highest-capacity choices for hyperscale datacenters, whom want most storage density and are keen to pay premium for the drives and for supporting infrastructure. As yields of HAMR-supporting media and the suitable learn/write heads enhance, the expertise shall be utilized for drives with decrease capacities in a bid to chop down their manufacturing prices (fewer disks and heads, decrease the prices). This isn’t going to occur in a single day although, as the corporate wants to extend yields of HAMR drive parts and the HDDs themselves to a cushty stage.

“I believe this 12 months, [the volume of HAMR HDDs] will most likely nonetheless be comparatively low,” stated the pinnacle of Seagate. “Then the quicker we will get the yields and scrap and all the prices that we will management down on the heads and media, then the quicker we’ll be accelerating. I believe that may occur in calendar 12 months 2024 and calendar 12 months 2025 will simply proceed to speed up. The best capability factors shall be addressed, but additionally these midrange capability factors.”

50+ TB HDDs Will Be Right here in a Few Years

Seagate’s launch of its first mass market 30+ TB HAMR exhausting drives platform will mark a milestone for the corporate and the entire business. However apparently the corporate has one other breakthrough to share right now. The agency stated this week that it had created 5 TB platters for 3.5-inch exhausting drives, which presumably entails new media, new write heads, and new learn heads. 

“It was practically 4 years in the past to the day that I first shared our lab outcomes demonstrating 3 TB per disk capacities,” defined Mosley. “And immediately, we’ve got demonstrated capacities of 5 TB per disk in our recording physics labs.”

For now, these platters are used on spinstands for analysis and testing functions, however platters like these will permit for 50 TB HDDs a number of years down the road. Seagate’s roadmap signifies that such exhausting drives will hit the market typically in calendar 2026. 

It’s unclear how skinny the brand new platters are. However following present tendencies of nearline HDD evolution — rising areal density and rising variety of platters per exhausting drive — it is not outdoors the realm of chance that Seagate will discover methods to combine much more than 10 platters in future drives. Wherein case Seagate would be capable to hit drive sizes even bigger than 50 TB.

In any case, with ~3 TB platters in manufacturing, samples of ~30 TB HDDs delivery to prospects, and 5 TB platters demonstrated within the lab, Seagate’s HAMR roadmap appears to look fairly stable. Subsequently, anticipate exhausting drives to realize capacities quickly within the coming years.

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