Western Digital promises 40TB MAMR drives by 2025

We're reaching the limits of areal density growth on PRM alone, but growing MAMR areal density on our new 8-disk platform gives us strong capacity far into the future, and will enable the company to achieve a 15% CAGR in enterprise hard drive storage capacity.

'As the volume, velocity, variety, value and longevity of both Big Data and Fast Data grow, a new generation of storage technologies are needed to not only support ever-expanding capacities, but ultimately help our customers analyse and garner insights into our increasingly connected universe of data, ' claimed Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital, during the presentation. Developments in the other energy-assisted technology, specifically, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), present new material science and reliability challenges that are not a factor in MAMR. HAMR has reliability issues due to the extreme heat utilized in the process and requires several complex and costly changes to drive infrastructure, among other challenges.

It added that the technology ought to be capable of capacities of more than four terabits per square inch over time. However, their overall goal is to have 40TB HDDs on the market by 2025.

The first MAMR hard-disk drives will be running in data centres by 2020, according to WD, but will quickly find their way into an array of different products, including consumer products, according to IDC. In addition to HelioSeal helium-filled drive technology, MAMR also builds upon the company's micro actuation and recording head manufacturing technologies. The concept isn't new - the original patent for using heat to increase the stability of magnetically-stored data was granted in 1954, and the technology itself saw brief usage in magneto-optical drives from the 1980s before writeable CDs cornered the market for low-priced write-once mass storage - but Western Digital claims MAMR is now ready for prime time. With HAMR, a laser is used to heat the media and make it easier to write. The Damascene process involves precise depositing and etching layers of magnetic and non-magnetic materials to arrive at a finished head. The combination of these technologies deliver superior total cost of ownership (TCO) across all sizes of cloud and enterprise data centers. Western Digital just surprised the storage industry by announcing its upcoming Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) technology, which could keep the price per gigabyte of spinning drives lower than SSDs for at least the next decade.

Western Digital has a nice new video which demonstrates all of their HDD innovations, including the new MAMR. Western Digital is also a major supplier of memory chips. Western Digital data-centric solutions are marketed under the G-Technology, HGST, SanDisk, Tegile, Upthere and WD brands.

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