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Seagate to demo HAMR drives at Ceatec

Seagate to demo HAMR drives at Ceatec

Seagate is to show off its HAMR-based high-density hard drives at Ceatec later this week, and promises to launch 20TB hard drives by 2020.

Seagate has promised to show off a new generation of spinning-rust hard drives, using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology to vastly increase storage capacity over today's models.

HAMR, as the name suggests, is an enhancement to traditional magnetic storage systems whereby the area to be magnetically flipped is first heated with a small laser. This heating bypasses a phenomenon known as the superparamagnetic effect, in which sufficiently small magnetic particles - such as you might find in a high-density magnetic storage system - will spontaneously flip state, causing your carefully-stored data to be rendered insensible.

As a means of continuing the density boosting of magnetic storage, HAMR is promising - but the technology has been a long time coming: the first patent describing a prototype HAMR system was filed back in 1954, but it wasn't until the 1980s that so-called magneto-optical drives which utilised the process hit the market - only to be quickly superseded by optically-writable CD-Rs in short order.

Seagate has been showing interest in HAMR technology for some time. Back in March last year the company announced a prototype HAMR drive which boasted an areal density of 1Tb per square inch, some 55 per cent higher than the best traditional non-HAMR prototypes. At the time, the company promised the breakthrough would lead to desktop drives of up to 6TB in the first models while quickly scaling up to drives as large as 60TB by the time HAMR reaches its own theoretical limits.

Now, the company is promising public demonstrations of the technology for the first time. Taking its prototype out of the lab, Seagate is to attend the Ceatec 2013 trade show later this week and show off the capabilities of the system ahead of a planned launch of HAMR-based 2.5" 10K RPM hard drives for the enterprise market in the near future.

'The world is generating an astronomical amount of data annually and that data needs to be stored,' claimed Mark Re, Seagate's chief technology officer, at the announcement. 'We are approaching the limits of today's recording technology and with HAMR technology, Seagate is on track to continue to increase areal density delivering hard drives with the lowest cost per gigabyte and reaching capacities of 20TB by 2020.'

Sadly, Seagate has yet to offer pricing or availability for its enterprise-grade HAMR drives, much less consumer-oriented 3.5" units for those who find themselves growing short of storage space on traditional media.

16 Comments

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proxess 1st October 2013, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Seagate is to show off its HAMR-based high-density hard drives at Ceatec later this week, and promises to launch 20GB hard drives by 2020.

Back in the day, 20GB would do wonders. I doubt it'll be of much use by 2020 though. :)
Panos 1st October 2013, 12:02 Quote
20GB :P Doesn't even hold a single game, like the TW:R2

Still remember the 130MB HDD I got with the 386DX40 with 4MB RAM, and when mate who bought a "better/triple the price" IBM 386SX33 said to me "40MB HDD and 1MB RAM is enough, no need for more ever"
mclean007 1st October 2013, 12:19 Quote
When will the madness end? How much 4k pornography does one person need?
Dave Lister 1st October 2013, 13:51 Quote
Loved the opening paragraph "a new generation of spinning-rust hard drives" lol

Also- 'The world is generating an astronomical amount of data annually and that data needs to be stored,' claimed Mark Re. I bet all the NSA staff would all sigh a big amen to that statement :P
Gareth Halfacree 1st October 2013, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Back in the day, 20GB would do wonders. I doubt it'll be of much use by 2020 though. :)
D'you know, I did a search across the body text to see if I'd put GB when I meant TB and came up empty. Didn't think to do it on the image caption. :( Fixed, ta!
John_T 1st October 2013, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
D'you know, I did a search across the body text to see if I'd put GB when I meant TB and came up empty. Didn't think to do it on the image caption. :( Fixed, ta!

It's a form of 'word-blindness', we all do it - sometimes when you've been working on something for a while, even when proof-reading, you still end up seeing what you meant to write rather than what you actually did. It's why it's (infuriatingly) always easier to spot someone else's mistakes than your own! :)
John_T 1st October 2013, 14:39 Quote
Fantastic looking technology by the way, but 2020 still seems an awful long way off. I can see SSD's catching up to (or even surpassing) existing sized large HDD's in the intervening 6+ years...
Paradigm Shifter 1st October 2013, 17:02 Quote
Given that you can already buy 1TB SSDs (or as good as) in the form of the Samsung 840 Evo for <£500... unless SSDs totally stagnate, they'll probably be pushing something in that region by 2020. They might even be a reasonable price, to boot!
Stanley Tweedle 1st October 2013, 20:36 Quote
I think by 2020 we could have 20 Terra-byte hard disks and also a cure for the cold.

I can't wait for 2020. Men will walk on Mars and OCZ will leave behind computer tech and start making 3d printed bicycles.
greigaitken 1st October 2013, 20:56 Quote
I used to think a 3d printed bike was laughable until yesterday i read about nasa's 3d laser printer that uses titanium, chromium and nickel powders. I so want a 3d metal printer
loftie 1st October 2013, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos
20GB :P Doesn't even hold a single game, like the TW:R2

Pfft to TW:R2, Terraria is 40MB! :D
edzieba 2nd October 2013, 07:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken
I used to think a 3d printed bike was laughable until yesterday i read about nasa's 3d laser printer that uses titanium, chromium and nickel powders. I so want a 3d metal printer
You don't need to go to NASA, Direct Metal Laser Sintering printers have been around for a couple of decades. They're not cheap, but they're not space-age supertechnology. Printing custom engine-blocks is not a rare occurrence when prototyping.

Being able to 'download a car' (for example) is not currently limited by technology, but by economic build volume of printers; a cheap printer is a mass produced printer, it's very rare at the moment to need to print objects that large, so printers aren't made that large.
Almightyrastus 2nd October 2013, 08:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
When will the madness end? How much 4k pornography does one person need?

I'm embarrassed for the both of us that you need to ask.
dynamis_dk 2nd October 2013, 09:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley Tweedle
I think by 2020 we could have 20 Terra-byte hard disks and also a cure for the cold

I think i'd prefer a cure for the cold more than the 20TB HDD's lol - If I run out of space I can by another HDD, If I get a cold its torture! Broke my nose years ago and ever since getting a cold is always a painful experience. +1 for cold cure :)
Gradius 3rd October 2013, 00:09 Quote
"20GB"... infamous copy&paste.

Btw, we want BIGGER, RELIABLE and CHEAPER SSDs !
Gareth Halfacree 3rd October 2013, 08:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
"20GB"... infamous copy&paste.
Pardon?
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