Seagate has big plans when it comes to storage space in 2020 and beyond.
In a recent earnings call, the firm has announced it's on track to launch 20TB hard drives using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology by the end of 2020. For the impatient amongst us, 18TB hard drives should be made available for release at the beginning of 2020.
In the case of the 18TB hard drives, Seagate is planning to use the same nine-platter platform used for the Exos 16TB hard drive, so mass production should be reasonably straightforward for the firm to achieve. No prices have been announced just yet, but we'll be keeping an eye out for more news as we get it.
During the earnings call, Seagate pointed out that its Exos 16TB hard drives are already very popular amongst their clients, with plans to ship more than a million units in its ongoing quarter which ends in December.
Seagate's plans are potentially the start of a storage war between the firm and its main rival, Western Digital. The two companies are both aiming to launch a 20TB hard drive by the end of 2020, but Seagate seems to have plans to do so before its rival. Of course, competition can be great for the competitor, because it means new tech arriving faster in a bid to beat the other "guy".
There's also the little prospect of Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording technology (HAMR for short), which allows discs to store data in smaller bits, allowing for it to be more densely packed and potentially leading to much larger hard-drive capacities. Such technology is what's led to Seagate announcing its ambitious plans to develop hard drives with an impressive 50TB of storage space by 2026.
We suspect the tricky bit is going to be ensuring that those hard drives are also highly reliable. It's bad enough losing a few files... but 50TB of data would be horrific for many.
Still, the future's looking pretty bright when it comes to making sure you can store almost everything imaginable to your heart's content.
June 5 2020 | 17:45