Adam_a

Seagate Achieves 16TB HAMR HDD

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We last talked extensively about HAMR drives in 2015, so its probably worth reviewing the technology. A major limitation on HDD capacity is the minimum size of the magnetic fields that can be created and used to write data. HAMR gets around this limit by temporarily, very temporarily (we’re talking durations under a single nanosecond here) heating the area to be written to make it more receptive to magnetic effects. The difficulties in both generating enough heat (above 400 °C) and focusing it precisely enough are obvious. Seagate’s solution is to use a small laser diode attached to each recording head to heat the target location.

 

 

 

Seagate Achieves 16TB HAMR HDD

 

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Where does Seagate say they built 40,000 drives? That seems like a lot of 16TB units.

Or is this total HAMR drives built so far?

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What platter count are they using? If they're doing 16TB with 8-9 platters, then HAMR is not improving density much. If they're doing 16TB with 5 platters, that would be very good.

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They likely use 8-9 platters which is good that they can seemingly handle a drive with 16-18 HAMR heads. 

But yes, a capacity bump needs to come NOW. Do 20TB with 5 Disk should be their goal. 

 

 

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Happy to see interest here in our HAMR developments. The current roadmap is for us to produce a 20TB HAMR drive before the decade is out and potentially reach 100TB by 2025. Here's a few more blogs where we've been talking about the new developments of HAMR lately:

HAMR Milestone: Seagate Achieves 16TB Capacity on Internal HAMR Test Units

HAMR: the Next Leap Forward is Now

Seagate MACH.2 Multi Actuator Technology Breaks Throughput Record; HAMR Reliability Tests Exceed Industry Standards

And here's why it matters:

Data Age 2025

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14 hours ago, reader50 said:

What platter count are they using? If they're doing 16TB with 8-9 platters, then HAMR is not improving density much. If they're doing 16TB with 5 platters, that would be very good.

 

4 hours ago, fallbreak said:

They likely use 8-9 platters which is good that they can seemingly handle a drive with 16-18 HAMR heads. 

But yes, a capacity bump needs to come NOW. Do 20TB with 5 Disk should be their goal. 

 

 

We can't speak as to specific platter count, however the roadmap is to hit 20TB by the end of the decade and 100TB by 2025.

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Using the chart from the roadmap and their achieved "2 Tbpsi areal density" suggests the 16TB is using 8 platters. They're probably aiming for 20TB using 8 platters also.

9-platter drives must be packed solid inside, so using 8 makes more sense. Leaves space for the extra laser components of each head. Corollary: the flagship drive size will probably use 8 platters for the foreseeable future.

As this will push mid-sized drives (currently 8-10 TB) back down to 3-4 platters, it will lead to lower prices for mid-sized drives. So we can finally return to annual drops in price-per-gig.

Not as good as I'd hoped for on density increases yet, but most definitely good news.

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It's a start for sure, there's going to be a density play for 3.5" HDDs for some time still. 

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