Seagate has announced that it aims to launch its first hard disks (HDDs) to exceed a capacity of 30TB.
CEO David Mosley explained in his recent earnings call that development is progressing well and that Seagate is on track to ship its “30TB+ family of drives” to select customers by “this time next year.”
While full specs have not yet been confirmed, the new drives will be based on Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology, which industry commentators say will pave the way for HDDs much larger than the current crop.
The world’s largest hard drive
As the amount of data produced by internet activity, digital devices and IoT sensors continues to grow at an aggressive pace, enterprises and cloud providers need to pack a greater amount of data into the same physical footprint.
To achieve this goal, they need high-capacity hard drives that offer much greater storage density than current models (as well as cost savings related to real estate, cooling, and more), something Seagate and its rivals are working hard to achieve.
The world’s largest hard drive is currently being made by Western Digital, which unveiled a ten-plateau earlier this year 26TB HDD. The jump in capacity was attributed to new UltraSMR technology, which combines large block encoding and advanced error correction to improve tracks per inch (TPI).
In an effort to win the race to 30TB, Seagate is taking a different approach based on HAMR. By temporarily heating small sections of the disc while writing, HAMR can write a greater number of bits to the same surface, resulting in significant improvements in airtightness.
HAMR’s proponents believe that the technology could eventually yield hard drives with capacities in excess of 50 TB in the future.
Seagate’s first-generation HAMR drives have been in customer hands for some time, and the new second-generation platform will see the light of day in about 12 months.
However, aside from advances in research and development, Seagate is currently facing some economic headwinds.
On the same earnings call, both Mosley and CFO Gianluca Romano warned of a forecasted drop in sales due to inflationary pressures, ongoing component shortages and other factors.
“As we enter fiscal 2023, we expect macro uncertainties and shortages of non-HDD components to continue to put pressure on our end-market in the near term,” explains Romano.
In light of these challenging market conditions, Seagate says it will reduce production numbers and focus on driving efficiency on the plant floor and in the supply chain.
“While we believe the end-market demand disruptions are temporary, we are aware of the prevailing macro uncertainties,” added Mosley.
“We are maintaining prudent cost containment across the company and are executing our product roadmap, which also helps support our customers’ TCO objectives.”
Via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)The register (opens in new tab)