After years of development, Seagate today announced it has readied its first 3.5″ hard disk drive utilizing HAMR technology. The drive is targeted at enterprise and data center usage and has a capacity of 16 TB. By next year this should grow to 20 TB.
Although SSDs are becoming mainstreaming for consumer computers, in data centers the continuous hunger for storage capacity means HDDs are there to stay for the coming years. With HAMR technology, Seagate is getting ready for higher capacity drives.
In a blog post the company today announced that the first HAMR based drives are ready now. The first drive is a 3.5″ disk with a capacity of 16 TB. These drives have been extensively tested by Seagate and several test customers in enterprise applications. According to Seagate the tests were successful and mentions the HAMR drives are suitable as a replacement for conventional HDDs. To use HAMR based disks, no additional drivers or applications are required.
The first HAMR drives will be release under the Exos series, Seagate’s line of server HDDs. Initially this will be a 16 TB drive but Seagate expects that next year 20 TB HDDs will become available. Unfortunately, the company has not disclosed any pricing information or launch dates.
HAMR is an abbreviation for Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording and uses a laser to heat up small parts of magnetic material to several hundred degrees for under 1 nanosecond. By heating the material it becomes much more receptive to magnetic effects and allows writing to much smaller regions. This makes it possible to achieve higher data densities and thus higher capacity disks.