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Seagate heat tech hints 20TB notebook, 60TB desktop drives

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2012

Seagate HAMR to surge drive storage in years

Seagate on Monday outlined a new technology that promised very high storage density. Heat-assisted magnetic recording, or HAMR, would be just the third major rotating hard drive technique in the market and even in its first generation would lead to one terabit per square inch, a 55 percent boost over today's 620 gigabits per inch. While shy on what HAMR entailed, it noted the technique was delivering performance that had previously been thought "impossible."

The method was expected to deliver clear benefits once ready and scale up over time. Initial versions at the 1Tb density would lead to 2TB notebook drives and 6TB desktop drives. As it scaled, it would add five to ten times the capacity over time, culminating in 10-20TB notebook disks and 30-60TB in desktop form.

Seagate was deliberately conservative in its expectations. It promised that HAMR would first show up "later this decade" and that its current foreseen peak would happen within ten years of that point.

The introductions will reflect a race from traditional hard drive designers to keep ahead of solid-state drives. SSDs are currently expensive, but they have historically doubled in capacity with each significant leap and may catch up to rotating drives in the next few years as capacities increase and prices come down.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Oneota

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Please get rid of the F@(&ing interstitial ads between the RSS feed and the actual articles. Good God, they're annoying.

  1. DCJ001

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Do you think that posting your request in the comments will work?

    Try this:

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I like big drives as much as anybody, but this, like every other announcement of "breakthrough" hard drive technology over the past decade, doesn't sound like it'll amount to anything other than the same gradual progression we're already seeing.

    A 6TB desktop drive would be a modest 50% more than the current top of 4TB, and even at the current rate of increase that's slower than things have been increasing if it only happens "this decade"--assuming that that means more on the order of 5-8 years than a couple.

    Now, it's possible that they've already hit a wall with current technology, and that's why increases have been so slow recently, in which case this might enable hard drive manufacturers (there are, what, 3 left?) to resume the same rate of increase as in the past. But it's certainly not exciting.

    And personally, I'd just be happy to be able to buy a 2TB or 3TB drive for what I could a year ago, rather than today,when I'm paying 50-100% more for the exact same drive on account of the Thailand disaster.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wait a minute...

    I've not seen a desktop drive yet that wasn't capable of generating a great deal of heat. Wouldn't adding heat be a problem, both for longevity of the drive and components near the drive, be counter productive?

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    New idea.

    Stop trying to improve on slow, traditional drives. Seagate, why don't you spend your time and money on making solid state drives very affordable at high capacities?

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