Seagate says: 300Tb ain't happening in 2010

Written by Tim Smalley

January 10, 2007 // 11:18 a.m.

Tags: #2010 #300tb #assisted #claims #clear #cut #drives #false #hamr #hard #heat #magnetic #mongering #official #perpendicular #recording #response #rumour #seagate #technology

The other day, we wrote an article that claimed we would see 300TB hard drives from Seagate in the year 2010, with thanks to a technology called Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR).

In fact, most of the web ran with this rather sensational story and I'm sure that many of you will be sad to learn that it has turned out to be nothing more than a distant fantasy.

A story on TechWorld a few days ago has rubbished that rumour, as they managed to get a rather clear-cut response from Seagate:

"By 2010, perpendicular recording will remain as the technology used and 3.5-inch drives will range from 1200 to 3000 GB capacities depending on the applications (desktop class drives that don't require the same performance densities as enterprise drives are expected to have the higher capacities). Seagate research's estimates are that 50 terabit-per-square-inch density may be achievable using HAMR with perhaps a combination of Bit Patterned Media but that's moving well past the 2010 timeframe."

Taking that and the recent announcements from Seagate and Hitachi into account, we can see hard drive capacities tripling in the next three years. The Seagate representative also went on to say that "HAMR will begin to emerge in products around that same time as well and begin the transition."

The spokesperson then went on to say that 50Tb per square inch areal density drives (i.e. 300Tb or 37.5TB, not 300TB as originally claimed) are at the bleeding edge limits of HAMR and that kind of areal density will see the light of day closer to the year 2020. Finally, the representative finished by explaining that "current perpendicular recording technology is extensible to somewhere between 0.5 and 1Tb per square inch before another technology like HAMR is required."

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