HDD Manufacturers Turn to New Technologies to Drive Capacity


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As the storage wars concerning SSDs and HDDs drag on, SSDs have seemed to be attaining a decisive higher hand. Providers like Toshiba, Seagate, and Western Digital have shown off their upcoming-generation systems like Electrical power-Assisted Magnetic Recording (EAMR, WD) and Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR, Seagate), but both businesses feel to be possessing problems delivery drives in considerable quantities.

Just one of the important inquiries struggling with the magnetic spinning marketplace is whether or not to drive ahead toward 10-platter types. Those of you who previous looked up from your SSD efficiency graphs when five-platter drives ended up all the rage may be amazed, but we’re by now up to 9 platters. StorageNewsletter writes:

In the latest weeks, while, provide chain chatter has signaled that 10-platter designs may perhaps arise faster than initially planned, with some information pointing to 10-disk layouts to support 20TB CMR capacities as a probability. Granted, these options could modify, based on pre-MAMR/HAMR areal density achievements, and technologies this sort of as Western Digital’s EAMR approach may perhaps be employed to increase push capacities above the upcoming gen to obviate the need to have for a tenth disk.

Extremely-slim substrates of less than .5mm are also under investigation. The new glass platters Seagate is adopting as part of its shift to HAMR technological know-how are thinner than aluminum, and consequently theoretically enable home to squeeze a further platter in. Theoretically, even 11-12 platter designs may well be achievable. Statements from the glass substrate manufacturer Hoya back up this desire in thinner substrates.

The cause there’s curiosity in the greater platter counts is that HDD brands can nevertheless generate absolute capacities greater, even if systems like MAMR, HAMR, and EAMR all are unsuccessful to materialize as rapidly as initially expected. There would seem to be some doubt as to no matter if Seagate and WD will strike their intense capability ramps. COVID-19 has done very little to aid issues on this front.

A 12-platter push with 2TB platters would have an unformatted capacity of 24TB — drastically more substantial than any push at present readily available. StorageNewsletter to begin with believed 24TB drives would be in-marketplace by 2022, but the business is a bit considerably less particular of what types of technologies the spinning disk brands will use to get there. These could be drives with larger platter counts and standard know-how, or HAMR / EAMR products and solutions with fewer platters and larger areal densities.

As for SSDs, analysis is continuing into Penta Degree Cell (PLC, five-little bit) NAND. Though it would have even reduced functionality and fewer endurance than its QLC counterpart, there are innovative storage ideas like Zoned Name Areas for SSDs that are supposed to lessen produce amplification and could make it possible for PLC drives to more chew into HDD’s potential edge.

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