Prospective: Seagate has invested some huge cash and energy into constructing the way forward for HAMR storage primarily based on magnetic know-how. Now, the corporate says it is nearly able to convey its next-generation HDDs to prospects equivalent to companies and customers.
The way forward for magnetic storage will start within the third quarter of 2023, as Seagate has introduced its newest plans to start quantity manufacturing of second-generation HAMR-based drives. On a latest investor name, the storage large mentioned that the rollout of its latest HDD “platform” might be “forward of schedule” whereas it’s working to enhance earnings (and margins, in fact).
While the storage market is presently going by way of powerful instances, Seagate is seeking to the long run: heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) makes use of laser diodes connected to every recording head to “immediately warmth a tiny spot on the disk,” the corporate defined. The bits of information thus written on the disk are smaller and denser than ever earlier than, “whereas sustaining magnetic and thermal stability.”
Seagate has already shipped a restricted variety of HAMR drives to chose prospects for testing, however the know-how seems to be prepared for mass manufacturing of shopper and enterprise drives. The tempo at which HAMR manufacturing ramps up initially “will depend upon a lot of components,” equivalent to product yield or buyer qualification timelines, Seagate mentioned.
In the primary and second quarters of 2023, Seagate nonetheless plans to depend on conventional magnetic recording know-how to push exhausting drive capability to new heights. In the primary or second quarter, the corporate will launch a brand new 10-platter mannequin utilizing perpendicular or standard magnetic recording (CMR/PMR), with 2.2 TB on every platter for a complete capability of 22TB. Using the slower shingled magnetic recording (SMR) know-how, Seagate will provide a 24TB mannequin to prospects keen to make use of it for “particular functions.”
Seagate estimates that the second-generation HAMR platters will ultimately have the ability to retailer 5 TB of information on a single platter, whereas the primary mass-produced HAMR HDDs will provide “solely” 30 TB of nominal storage capability. HAMR drives with 40TB storage capability are anticipated to launch in 2024 or 2025, whereas 50TB fashions might arrive in 2026.
Right now, the principle problem with HAMR drives is yield – and it’ll stay so for the subsequent few years. According to Seagate, the market share of HAMR-based drives will possible stay “comparatively low” by way of 2023. Major manufacturing enhancements ought to materialize in 2024 and speed up additional in 2025. Increased yields will permit thermal help know-how to be utilized to mid-range and even low-end HDD fashions as properly.