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Seagate HAMRs hard drives to 1Tb per square inch

Seagate HAMRs hard drives to 1Tb per square inch

Seagate's HAMR-based hard drives could, it claims, store up to 60TB of data before the technology reaches its upper limit.

Storage giant Seagate has become the first hard drive manufacturer to reach the dizzy heights of one terabit per square inch areal density, using a technology known as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR.)

Designed as a next-generation replacement for perpendicular magnetic recording as used in today's hard drives, HAMR holds the potential for 3.5in hard drives holding as much as 60TB. That, Seagate is quick to point out, would mean more bits in a square inch of hard drive platter than stars in the Milky Way.

As the name suggests, HAMR supplements traditional magnetic storage technologies by first heating the area to be magnetically flipped with a small laser. The result is a bypassing of the superparamagnetic effect, a phenomenon in which sufficiently small magnetic particles decide to randomly change state - turning your carefully stored data into so much gibberish.

The technology has been in the pipeline for quite some time: the first patent describing the use of heat to improve the stability of magnetically recorded data dates back to 1954, while the 1980s saw the launch of the HAMR-based magneto-optical drive before it was superseded by writable CDs. More recently, Fujtisu announced a HAMR-based head element in 2006 which it claimed could potentially lead to terabit-per-square-inch areal densities.

Seagate is now claiming to deliver on Fujitsu's six-year promise. A prototype HAMR implementation created by the company as a proof-of-concept platform for the technology shows serious promise: at a linear density of two million bits per inch for an overall density of 1Tb per square inch, the drive boasts an areal density around 55 per cent higher than PMR's theoretical 620Gb per square inch limit.

As a result, the first-generation commercial HAMR products can be expected to double hard drive capacities. That means desktop drives holding up to 6TB, and laptop drives holding up to 2TB. Seagate promises that HAMR will scale rapidly, however, with its upper limit sitting somewhere around five to 10Tb per square inch. As a result, by the time HAMR reaches end-of-life, we should be enjoying 3.5in hard drives with between 30TB and 60TB of storage space.

'The growth of social media, search engines, cloud computing, rich media and other data-hungry applications continues to stoke demand for ever greater storage capacity,' claimed Mark Re, senior vice president of heads and media R&D at Seagate. 'Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content.'

Sadly, Seagate is somewhat quiet on a launch schedule for its HAMR-based drives, saying only that it is planning the first commercial HAMR drives for launch 'later this decade.'

12 Comments

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SpAceman 20th March 2012, 11:53 Quote
The mechanical drive just doesn't want to die does it?
Paul2011 20th March 2012, 12:45 Quote
stop HAMR time.... ill get my coat
Nexxo 20th March 2012, 12:57 Quote
Can't touch this.
steveo_mcg 20th March 2012, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
the first commercial HAMR drives for launch 'later this decade.'

In other words there is still plenty money to be wrung out of current tech and with so few competitors it doesn't really matter if we take our time....

/Dons parachute pants
Star*Dagger 20th March 2012, 14:02 Quote
5 of these would be a good start for my storage needs. I got up to 57Tb before the hard drive prices spiked.
Waynio 20th March 2012, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combo line
stop HAMR time.... Can't touch this.
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/smit2174/dir/files/McHammer.gif

:D
benji2412 20th March 2012, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Quote:
the first commercial HAMR drives for launch 'later this decade.'

In other words there is still plenty money to be wrung out of current tech and with so few competitors it doesn't really matter if we take our time....

/Dons parachute pants


No it means that because there isn't a working proof of concept yet, they don't actually have a clue if it'll work well enough to implement into commerical applications.
mattbailey 20th March 2012, 18:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
5 of these would be a good start for my storage needs. I got up to 57Tb before the hard drive prices spiked.

How can one person have so much pron!? ;-)
rocket 20th March 2012, 19:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
In other words there is still plenty money to be wrung out of current tech and with so few competitors it doesn't really matter if we take our time....

/Dons parachute pants

Solid-state drives Will take over by then it'll be obsolete maybe There will be used for cloud datastorage
yougotkicked 21st March 2012, 06:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by benji2412

No it means that because there isn't a working proof of concept yet, they don't actually have a clue if it'll work well enough to implement into commerical applications.

They DO have a working proof of concept. it's stated in the article.

The reason for the delay IMO is likely a simple issue of logistics. "later this decade" isn't particularly vague, it means they expect to bring the product to market within 8 years. pretty reasonable considering they just finished a proof of concept in their labs.

and SSD's won't replace hard drives for a long long time. SSD's have shorter lifespans than optical devices, and can't even come close to their price/capacity ratio. SSD's will serve as another caching layer between HDD and RAM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_hierarchy

[/HAMR time]
Nanu 21st March 2012, 20:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
5 of these would be a good start for my storage needs. I got up to 57Tb before the hard drive prices spiked.

Haha, you sir, are awesome.
I thought I was doing 'well' at 10TB - I've squashed that to 8TB until a newpair of 3TBs arrive...
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