Western Digital just lately introduced that it has begun testing subsequent era onerous drives based mostly on microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) expertise. The sampling is a prelude to mass manufacturing that can function the primary industrial HDDs based mostly on the expertise launched this yr. In the meantime, the corporate is engaged on onerous drives with two actuators that can arrive in 2020 or later. General, Western Digital stays assured about MAMR and expects to deliver a number of generations of such drives to market. In the meantime, the corporate additionally admits that it continues to spend money on the event of different heat-assisted magnetic recording expertise (HAMR).
"As we speak we’re sampling our 16 TB product [MAMR-based]," stated Michael Cordano, President and CEO of Western Digital, at his assembly with monetary analysts final month.
As anticipated from as early as 2017, the primary -driven MAMR drives can be geared up with 16 TB capability and use eight plates, which is confirmed by the chief throughout the occasion has been. Western Digital's 16 TB HDD is focused at nearline functions and is meant for cloud knowledge facilities in addition to companies requiring massive storage capacities. Nevertheless, Mr. Cordano has not clarified whether or not the MAMR-powered HDDs had been solely assembled with chosen prospects (eg, Western Digital's SMR-based HDDs are solely obtainable to chose prospects) or provided to a broader buyer base.
Not proud of 16 TB? How about 18 TB
Western Digital has realized numerous issues within the growth of MAMR and plans to make use of the expertise for a lot of generations. For instance, one of many firm's slides exhibits that 18TB onerous drives are additionally deliberate for 2019. In the meantime, 20+ TB drives with two actuators will come onto the market (or past) to extend IOPS efficiency per TB, later with larger capacities.
Typically, Western Digital appears assured that MAMR can be applied. The method will make use of a mix of heads made utilizing its Damascene Spin Torque Oscillator (STO) course of to provide the 20-40 GHz microwaves that cut back the coercivity of the media and the brand new media itself. The Tech has gone by means of the entire firm's milestones and is poised to launch it this yr.
However whereas MAMR will proceed for use within the coming years, Western Digital continues to spend money on the event of its personal HAMR expertise. HAMR has been investigated by a number of firms and can be utilized by rival Seagate in 2019 for industrial merchandise. This can be a unusual step by Western Digital, as the corporate initially rejected HAMR for MAMR and as soon as claimed that implementing HAMR was costly. It posed reliability points. In distinction, Seagate stated that HAMR had a greater scale by way of space densities. Given this revelation, Western Digital seems to be growing with MAMR within the close to future, however it does seem that the corporate is hedging its bets in the long term. On this case, you should still see a HAMR Western Digital drive.
Supply: Western Digital