Seagate Technology is on track to rapidly boost capacity of hard disk drives for datacenters and will release a 10TB model in 2015. The company currently has no plans to manufacture helium-filled HDDs since such technology is too expensive. However, Seagate intends to use shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology next year and pins a lot of hopes on heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology going forward.
Seagate’s 10TB HDD will sport six 1.66TB SMR platters, Seagate revealed in an interview with Akiba PC Hotline. The company admits that performance of such hard disk drives is rather low due to the nature of shingled magnetic recording technology and other factors. However, the firm claims that it is possible to hide some of SMR’s drawbacks by installing large DRAM caches on hard drives. Moreover extreme capacity HDDs are not used as boot drives, so their performance issues will hardly be noticed.
One of the world’s largest makers of hard drives is confident that it will be able to release commercial HDDs featuring HAMR technology in 2016 – 2017. Thanks to HAMR, hard drives will gain around 30 per cent capacity every year in the future. However, to use heat-assisted method, Seagate will need to advance HDD heads and media. Seagate will demonstrate working prototypes of HAMR HDDs sometimes next year, the company said.
By contrast, Seagate does not seem to consider sealed helium-filled HDDs. Such drives require completely different process technology to manufacture and thus are more expensive than traditional hard disk drives. Seagate does not believe that helium-filled hard drives will even become cost-effective enough for consumers (consumers do not require HDD with extreme amount of platters anyway), which is why it does not see many reasons to offer such drives even to enterprise customers.
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KitGuru Says: Seagate seems to be rather optimistic about the future of hard disk drives. The company has a solid roadmap that it is going to execute. Apparently, Seagate knows how to solve technological challenges with HAMR and other technologies, therefore, the skies are blue ahead of the company.