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Industry consortium predicts 100TB hard drives in 2025

At the recent Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM) conference Advanced Storage Technology Consortium (ASTC), which unites numerous makers of hard disk drives as well as developers of storage solutions, demonstrated a new HDD roadmap. Apparently, rapid increases in areal density of hard drive media will allow HDD makers to create hard drives with up to 100TB capacity by 2025.

Modern hard drives use perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology which once enabled a rapid HDD capacity boost, but is no longer quickly evolving. It is also believed that shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology will not bring a lot of capacity benefits to hard drives as well, according to the roadmap. Members of ASTC believe that the next big thing in hard disk drives is heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which will be massively introduced into HDDs by 2017, increasing the average annual areal density growth rate to 30% (it is currently about 15%), reports Forbes.


At present advanced hard drive media features 0.86Tbpsi (Terra-bit per square inch) areal density. HAMR technology is projected to increase it to 2Tbpsi – 4Tbpsi in the coming years, thus significantly increasing capacities of hard drives to 20TB+ in the next five years.

Sometimes in 2021 the industry is expected to migrate to bit pattern media (with the magnetic media broken into small regions on the disk surface) combined with an extension to SMR called two dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR).

Eventually bit pattern media with TMDR will be combined with HAMR – which will be called heated-dot magnetic recording, or HDMR – boosting areal densities to 10Tbpsi by 2025. Thanks to storage media with 10Tbpsi areal densities, it will be possible to build 100TB+ hard drives a little more than 10 years from now.

While solid-state storage is rapidly catching up with hard disk drives in terms of capacity these days, it remains to be seen whether companies like Intel, Samsung, Toshiba or Micron will be able to continue to keep the pace once HAMR and BPMR technologies enter the market.

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KitGuru Says: Looks like hard drives will continue to be used as primary storage devices for huge amounts of data for at least another decade…

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