To drive ahead the advances within the exhausting drive business, Seagate has introduced that they may begin transport their 16 TB PMR exhausting drives. In a quarterly earnings assertion final week, the corporate reported that the drives had been transport for the reason that finish of March, with present shipments preceded by quantity manufacturing of the drives. Seagate, in flip, expects mass manufacturing to start within the second half of 2019. By the second quarter of 2020, the brand new 16TB drives would be the highest quantity SKU. After all, it’s not simply the capability that issues, however these drives don’t use subsequent era HAMR (Warmth Assisted Magnetic Recording) know-how. As a substitute, they’re primarily based on extra modern perpendicular magnetic recordings (PMR) amplified by two-dimensional magnetic recordings (TDMR).
Beforehand, we anticipated Seagate's first 16 TB drives to be primarily based on their HAMR know-how. Chosen Seagate prospects started who obtained the corporate's HAMR-based Exos X16 drives as early as December. Nonetheless, it seems that Seagate is not going to boot these HAMR drives but. As a substitute, Seagate has taken the considerably stunning step of constructing a 16-inch three.5-inch three.5-inch HDD primarily based on 9 PMR + TDMR-based disks.
Seagate appears to be making good progress growing these new PMR drives. A number of cloud knowledge middle prospects have already begun qualification assessments for the drives. Dave Mosley, Seagate CEO, had the next to say:
"We’re happy to announce that now we have begun transport our 16TB drives as deliberate on the finish of March. […] are underway for a lot of giant cloud and enterprise prospects. that we are going to attain a excessive quantity later within the 2019 calendar, and count on 16 terabyte drives to be our highest-volume SKU by subsequent yr. "
The transition from an eight-disk to a nine-disk HDD structure isn’t any small feat, as the transforming of inner elements must be essentially reworked, requiring thinner magnetic media and supporting mechanisms. The benefit, in fact, is an uncomplicated improve in accessible storage capability, whereas operators commerce this towards the whole price of the drive and different penalties, reminiscent of larger energy consumption. General, the transfer for Seagate is stunning, however under no circumstances unprecedented – Toshiba has been utilizing a nine-platter structure for a while. So, Seagate is the second exhausting drive producer to hitch this membership.
Along with the Exos X16 PMR + TDMR drives, Seagate can be getting ready host-managed 18-TB Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) exhausting drives that run on the identical platform. These drives are designed for patrons who want much more capability for read-intensive workloads. Curiously, Dave Mosley says the platform used for these new exhausting drives is prepared for HAMR heads:
"This specific platform for us will deliver us 16TB and 18TB with SMR and different variants and it’ll take us past 18TB and doubtless into the HAMR households as HAMR principally goes in that course, once we are prepared. "
For a number of years, Seagate has assumed that HAMR will likely be used for 16TB drives for the primary time. The sudden shift to PMR + TDMR raises a variety of questions on market situations and know-how. Is the delay depending on the shopper and the corporate's prospects wish to commit to a different spherical of confirmed applied sciences? Or, as HAMR drives use totally different elements (new media, new heads, and so on.), does the price of manufacturing HAMR drives pose a hurdle to manufacturing and / or buyer adoption? Or is the change in plans attributable to one thing else?
In any case, HAMR drives have truly been pushed again at Seagate, however they’re nonetheless on the corporate's roadmap. Seagate now plans to mass-produce HAMR drives in 2020 with capacities of 20 TB or extra.