Western Digital Releasing Ultrastar 20 TB Drives Next Quarter

Image: Western Digital

Serve the Home has learned that Western Digital is planning to release its massive Ultrastar 20 TB drives by September. “These are drives that are not yet in GA status, but the company says it hopes to have the WD Ultrastar DC HC650 20TB host-managed SMR drives available in its storage servers and JBODs ‘next quarter,’ which would be (calendar) Q4 2020,” wrote the site.

That’s a lot of storage! It’d be a shame if one of these failed (which shouldn’t be an issue, since you are making proper backups, right?), but they’re going to be an exciting prospect for those who want to streamline and consolidate their media servers.

According to a technical brief from Western Digital, the Ultrastar 20 TB drives utilize a spin-off of its energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) technology, energy-assisted PMR (ePMR). “ePMR applies an electrical current to the main pole of the write head throughout the write operation,” the company wrote. “This current generates an additional magnetic field which creates a preferred path for the magnetization flip of media bits. This, in turn, produces a more consistent write signal, significantly reducing jitter. When jitter is reduced it is possible to minimize the space between bits written, thus increasing BPI and areal density.”

Serve the Home also noted that Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC HC550 16 TB and 18 TB have also begun shipping. So have the new WD Gold 16 TB and 18 TB drives.

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