Seagate to offer cheap 10 TB HDDs next year

Seagate will start sales of 10 TB HDDs next year. The HDDs will use platters based on Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology. Drives with helium filled cases are too expensive, according to Seagate.

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Earlier this year Seagate already hinted at 10 TB drives but in an interview with the Japanese website Akiba, a Seagate Japan executive confirms that 10 TB drives become available in 2015. The HDDs will contain 6 platters which means Seagate has improved the data density compared to the 8TB drives it released this year.

The 8 TB drives also contain 6 platters, with a capacity of 1.33 TB each. In the 10 TB drive, the platters have an increased capacity of 1.67 TB each. Seagate uses SMR technology which should be good for a yearly capacity increase of 20-30%.

SMR has the disadvantage of slowing down drive speed but Seagate claims to solve this by increasing cache of the drive. Nevertheless, the HDDs are sold as slower ‘archive’ models and aren’t meant to be used as boot drives.

Seagate wants to sell large capacity disks for low prices and will therefore continue to use SMR. Alternative technologies like Helium filled HDD cases won’t be used by the company because it considers the costs too high. Competitor HGST does use Helium in its 10 TB HDDs.