Data hoarders can rest assured that they will have even bigger hard drives to play with in the years ahead.
A new technology roadmap shared by Seagate last week has revealed that the storage giant plans to launch even larger HDDs in 2023. These hard drives will leverage Seagate’s heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology and offer 30 TB or more of storage, a welcome increase over its current offerings.
“We are well down the development path towards launching our 30+ TB family of drives based on HAMR technology,” said David Mosley, chief executive of Seagate, who spoke during a recent earnings call with investors and financial analysts. “We expect to begin customer shipments of these HAMR-based products by this time next year.”
Here’s how Seagate has described its HAMR technology:
HAMR uses a new kind of media magnetic technology on each disk that allows data bits to become smaller and more densely packed than ever, while remaining magnetically and thermally stable. Then, to write new data, a small laser diode attached to each recording head momentarily heats a tiny spot on the disk, which enables the recording head to flip the magnetic polarity of a single bit at a time, enabling data to be written. Each bit is heated and cools down in a nanosecond, so the HAMR laser has no impact at all on drive temperature, or on the temperature, stability, or reliability of the media overall.
General consumers probably won’t be able to purchase Seagate’s new HDDs until after 2023, however. As Tom’s Hardware pointed out in its coverage, “customer shipments” would imply select business clients.
There is a small catch, though. Customer shipments do not mean mass availability of 30TB+ HDDs this time in 2023. Instead, the company may again supply its HAMR drives to select clients among operators of hyperscale data centers and then hold the launch for all other types of customers.
Seagate’s current lineup of IronWolf HDDs designed for NAS usage tops out at 20 TB. That capacity is listed for $682.99 on the company’s official website.