Seagate Confirms 30TB+ HAMR HDDs in Q3, Envisions 50TB Drives in a Few Years

Seagate this week confirmed plans to launch the trade’s first 30+ TB exhausting drive that makes use of its warmth assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) know-how, in addition to reaffirming its dedication to launch HDDs with capacities of fifty TB and better in a couple of years. However earlier than this occurs, the corporate will launch 22 TB and 24 TB HDDs that may depend on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) and shingled magnetic recording (SMR) applied sciences, respectively.

One Extra Play for PMR and SMR

Varied vitality assisted magnetic recording strategies, resembling HAMR, will likely be used for subsequent generations of exhausting drives for years to come back. However whereas PMR is working out of steam, it’s nonetheless evolving. Seagate has managed to extend areal density enabled by its PMR + TDMR platform by round 10%, enabling 2.2 TB 3.5-inch HDD platters and thus 22 TB exhausting drives that includes 10 of such disks. Moreover, by utilizing shingled recording, these drives can have their capability stretched to 22 TB.

These 22 TB and 24 TB Seagate Exos drives will probably be drop-in appropriate with current cloud datacenter {hardware} in addition to infrastructure, and mustn’t require intensive validation and certification procedures, not like brand-new HAMR HDDs. In consequence, Seagate’s clients will be capable to deploy such exhausting drives pretty shortly and enhance storage density and storage capability of their datacenters.

Seagate is now ramping up manufacturing of its 22 TB exhausting drives for datacenters, so anticipate the corporate to begin their shipments shortly. Seagate shouldn’t be disclosing when precisely it’ll formally launch its 22 TB and 24 TB elements, however we’d anticipate them to reach earlier than the corporate introduces its HAMR-based HDDs; so assume Q1 or Q2.

30+ TB HDDs Coming in Q3

The truth is, Seagate has been transport HAMR HDDs to pick out clients for analysis in addition to inside its personal Lyve storage programs for some time, however these drives featured capacities akin to these of PMR/CMR HDDs and weren’t obtainable in enormous volumes. With Seagate’s 2nd technology HAMR platform, the corporate goes after larger volumes, however it took the corporate fairly a while to get there. The primary pre-qualification high-capacity HAMR-based HDDs are solely simply now on the brink of head out to clients for analysis.

“We’re assembly or exceeding all product growth milestones and reliability metrics, and we will likely be transport pre-qualification models to key cloud clients within the coming weeks,” stated Dave Mosley, chief government of Seagate. 

In the meantime, industrial HAMR exhausting drives with capacities of 30TB or larger will ship in third quarter of this 12 months, which is in-line with what Seagate promised final 12 months.

“On account of this progress, we now anticipate to launch our 30-plus terabyte platform within the June quarter, barely forward of schedule,” stated Mosley. “The velocity of the preliminary HAMR quantity ramp will rely upon a lot of elements, together with product yields and buyer qualification timelines.”

Initially Seagate will solely supply its HAMR know-how for its highest-capacity choices for hyperscale datacenters, whom want most storage density and are keen to pay premium for the drives and for supporting infrastructure. As yields of HAMR-supporting media and the suitable learn/write heads enhance, the know-how will likely be utilized for drives with decrease capacities in a bid to chop down their manufacturing prices (fewer disks and heads, decrease the prices). This isn’t going to occur in a single day although, as the corporate wants to extend yields of HAMR drive parts and the HDDs themselves to a snug stage.

“I feel this 12 months, [the volume of HAMR HDDs] will most likely nonetheless be comparatively low,” stated the pinnacle of Seagate. “Then the quicker we are able to get the yields and scrap and all the prices that we are able to management down on the heads and media, then the quicker we’ll be accelerating. I feel that may occur in calendar 12 months 2024 and calendar 12 months 2025 will simply proceed to speed up. The very best capability factors will likely be addressed, but in addition these midrange capability factors.”

50+ TB HDDs Will Be Right here in a Few Years

Seagate’s launch of its first mass market 30+ TB HAMR exhausting drives platform will mark a milestone for the corporate and the entire trade. However apparently the corporate has one other breakthrough to share right now. The agency stated this week that it had created 5 TB platters for 3.5-inch exhausting drives, which presumably entails new media, new write heads, and new learn heads. 

“It was almost 4 years in the past to the day that I first shared our lab outcomes demonstrating 3 TB per disk capacities,” defined Mosley. “And as we speak, we now have demonstrated capacities of 5 TB per disk in our recording physics labs.”

For now, these platters are used on spinstands for analysis and testing functions, however platters like these will enable for 50 TB HDDs a couple of years down the road. Seagate’s roadmap signifies that such exhausting drives will hit the market generally in calendar 2026. 

It’s unclear how skinny the brand new platters are. However following present tendencies of nearline HDD evolution — growing areal density and growing variety of platters per exhausting drive — it is not outdoors the realm of chance that Seagate will discover methods to combine much more than 10 platters in future drives. During which case Seagate would be capable to hit drive sizes even bigger than 50 TB.

In any case, with ~3 TB platters in manufacturing, samples of ~30 TB HDDs transport to clients, and 5 TB platters demonstrated within the lab, Seagate’s HAMR roadmap appears to look fairly strong. Subsequently, anticipate exhausting drives to achieve capacities quickly within the coming years.