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

Seagate this week confirmed plans to launch the trade’s first 30+ TB arduous drive that makes use of its warmth assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) know-how, in addition to reaffirming its dedication to launch HDDs with capacities of fifty TB and better in just a few years. However earlier than this occurs, the corporate will launch 22 TB and 24 TB HDDs that can 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, corresponding to HAMR, shall be used for subsequent generations of arduous 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 arduous 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 possible be drop-in appropriate with current cloud datacenter {hardware} in addition to infrastructure, and mustn’t require in depth validation and certification procedures, not like brand-new HAMR HDDs. Consequently, Seagate’s prospects will be capable of deploy such arduous drives pretty rapidly and enhance storage density and storage capability of their datacenters.

Seagate is now ramping up manufacturing of its 22 TB arduous drives for datacenters, so count on the corporate to begin their shipments shortly. Seagate just isn’t disclosing when precisely it should formally launch its 22 TB and 24 TB elements, however we’d count on them to reach earlier than the corporate introduces its HAMR-based HDDs; so suppose Q1 or Q2.

30+ TB HDDs Coming in Q3

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

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

“On account of this progress, we now count on 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 quite a few components, together with product yields and buyer qualification timelines.”

Initially Seagate will solely supply its HAMR know-how 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 know-how 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 elements and the HDDs themselves to a snug degree.

“I feel this yr, [the volume of HAMR HDDs] will most likely nonetheless be comparatively low,” stated the top of Seagate. “Then the sooner we are able to get the yields and scrap and all the prices that we are able to management down on the heads and media, then the sooner we’ll be accelerating. I feel that can occur in calendar yr 2024 and calendar yr 2025 will simply proceed to speed up. The very 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 arduous drives platform will mark a milestone for the corporate and the entire trade. 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 arduous drives, which presumably entails new media, new write heads, and new learn heads. 

“It was almost 4 years in the past to the day that I first shared our lab outcomes demonstrating 3 TB per disk capacities,” defined Mosley. “And in the present day, we’ve 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 just a few years down the road. Seagate’s roadmap signifies that such arduous drives will hit the market generally in calendar 2026. 

It’s unclear how skinny the brand new platters are. However following present tendencies of nearline HDD evolution — growing areal density and growing variety of platters per arduous drive — it isn’t exterior the realm of risk that Seagate will discover methods to combine much more than 10 platters in future drives. Wherein case Seagate would be capable of 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, count on arduous drives to realize capacities quickly within the coming years.

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