Toshiba unveils its plans for 30TB HDDs and beyond

Toshiba unveils its plans for 30TB HDDs and beyond

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), the world's largest independent hard drive manufacturer, has confirmed that it has developed media equipped with MAS-MAMR (microwave assisted switching-microwave assisted magnetic recording) technology, which will enable Toshiba, a major SDK customer , to build HDDs with capacities of over 30TB.

MAS-MAMR is essentially a superset of MAMR technology, which alters the magnetic coercivity of hard disk media using microwaves. With MAS-MAMR, coercivity is altered even more significantly, allowing for even narrower runs and therefore greater areal density. The technology was jointly developed by Showa Denko (media with a brand new magnetic), TDK (read / write heads equipped with a double layer of spin injection) and Toshiba (drives).

Changing the platters and the read / write heads is a big problem for HDD manufacturers. Typically, companies prefer to replace a crucial component of their drives, but with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), Seagate has had to significantly change the architecture of its hard drives. Apparently, Toshiba will have similar challenges with MAS-MAMR. However, the good news is that the technology appears to scale, so it will be used for years to come. Toshiba has already started shipments of MAMR-based 18TB HDDs for nearline and enterprise-grade NAS applications. MAS-MAMR platters and heads will be used for 2nd generation MAMR units. Unfortunately, Toshiba hasn't disclosed when these units will hit the market.

Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) has now come to an end; therefore, manufacturers must use various Energy Assisted Magnetic Recording (EAMR) technologies to tangibly increase the capacities of their hard drives. Seagate was the first to launch HAMR, but these HDDs are currently only available to select customers. In contrast, Western Digital (or rather its HGST division) initially bet on MAMR, but then chose to use energy-assisted PMR (ePMR) for commercial hard drives last year.

Photo Credit: Toshiba Recently, Western Digital implied that ePMR is a good enough technology to increase HDD capacity for years to come, before HAMR takes over, which left several questions about MAMR's fate. While we have no idea of ​​Western Digital's MAMR plans yet, it appears that Toshiba, Showa Denko and TDK believe that MAMR and MAS-MAMR technologies have strong potential for capacity growth.

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