SPR's: Seagate is busy making the HAMR-based HDDs that use heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology to challenge the SSD revolution. These disks store about 3-4 times more data as compared to current HDDs.
At present, it clearly seems that HDDs are losing the mighty storage battle with the SSDs. However, a relatively newer technology could impregnate the present day HDDs with new life. Recently, Seagate Technology demonstrated the new HAMR-based HDDs that use heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. This technological breakthrough in the storage technology will enable the future HDDs to store about three to four times more data as compared to the present day HDDs.
As the named suggests, HAMR or Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording technique in these disks is a new process to write data on the magnetic media of the regular HD platters. HAMR based drives could store as much as 50 terabit per square inch, whereas the usual HDDs store just 1 terabit per square inch. Seagate says that it is working hard to bring the HAMR based drives as soon as possible.
The heat-assisted magnetic recording technology will not only increase the store the storage capacity, but it will also reduce its coercivity for a small amount of time needed to write one bit on the disk. This HAMR technology magnetically records data on high-stability media like iron platinum alloy, using laser thermal assistance to heat the material (and reduce the coercivity).
When is the First HAMR HDD Coming?
Jan-Ulrich Thiele, the head of HAMR development at Seagate says that HDDs with HAMR technology are not being made to break the storage records, instead they are being produced to evaluate the technology’s applicability in mass production scheme.
These HAMR-based HDDs are being planned to be introduced in late 2016 and the first prototype HAMR HDDs will come in limited 4TB storage sizes. The writing head of the HAMR HDDs will be slightly thicker than the traditional heads, causing their form factor to get larger.
As mentioned above, the introduction of HAMR HDDs will be in late 2016, but the disks are expected to ship in 2018.
It is clear that HDDs aren’t going to disappear anytime soon and the ASTC (Advanced Storage Technology Consortium) plans to develop the HDDs to make 100TB storage disks in a decade from now.
Can HAMR save the HDDs? Tell us in comments below.