Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording

1TB on a single platter

In Blog, Hard Disk Drive News by Administrator

1TB per platter media density HDD.

Most people take the increase in storage capacity in Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Disks as a given. We have had a number of customers recently who declared their 2TB does not have much data on it, and it is only ‘half full’. This is still an enormous amount of data, but it might not seem that way when it’s possible to buy a 3TB for less than £100 ex VAT.

We’ve just had in a 1TB HDD based on a single platter. A Seagate ST1000DM003 / 9YN162. Although we should not be surprised it still left one or two people agog with how much data is being squeezed into such a small space. It does not seem so long ago in 2006 when Cheadle Data Recovery started trading, that most of the hard disks received in were 20, 40 or 80GB in capacity.

Most HDD manufacturers can build disks with 4 platters inside. So based on Seagate’s current series of disk it will not be too long before we see a 4TB HDD in for recovery.

Seagate no longer to seem to opt for the traditional Barracuda 7200.5, 7200.6, 7200.7 etc. markings on the Drive. It’s just simply a Barracuda now. This might be because the last series they made with such markings were the 7200.12 series, and perhaps they did not want to tempt fate with “.13” series, especially given some of the reliability issues in the .11 & .12 hard disk drives.

So how do they keep squeezing more and more data into the same physical space? Read on regarding one of the latest technologies:

Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording

Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording – Seagate achieves 1 terabit per square inch breakthrough

The third instalment in our ‘future of storage’ series considers Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) – and how Seagate has used this technology to achieve a milestone storage density of 1 terabit (Tbit) per square inch.

Taking storage to the limit

Today’s hard drive storage technology, Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), will soon reach its capacity limit. Currently, the maximum capacity of 3.5-inch hard drives is 3TB, comprising around 620 gigabits per square inch, while 2.5-inch drives are limited to 750GB – made up of roughly 500 gigabits per square inch. Manufacturers have worked hard to increase areal density and capacity by shrinking platters’ data bits and tightening data tracks to pack more within every square inch of space. However, these efforts come with the risk of disrupting magnetisation and garbling data.

Turning up the heat

HAMR overcomes this risk by using laser-thermal assistance to magnetically record data. It also exploits highly stable magnetic compounds, which can store single bits of data in much smaller areas, free from the limitations of the superparamagnetic effects associated with PMR. The technology offers unprecedented opportunities for capacity growth. Its theoretical areal density limit ranges from 5 to 10Tbits per square inch. This equates to 30TB to 60TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10TB to 20TB for 2.5-inch drives.

Reaching a new capacity milestone

Using HAMR technology, Seagate is the first hard drive manufacturer to reach a milestone data density of just over 1Tbit per-square-inch. This is 55% higher than today’s areal-density limit and far exceeding the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way.

Meeting increasing capacity demands

“The growth of social media, search engines, cloud computing, rich media and other data-hungry applications continues to stoke demand for ever greater storage capacity,” said Mark Re, Senior Vice President of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate. “Hard-drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler in developing even more data-intense applications, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content.”

What’s in store?

Later this decade, HAMR will likely give rise to 3.5-inch hard drives with an extraordinary capacity of up to 60TB. The first generation of HAMR drives should deliver up to 6TB for 3.5-inch drives and 2TB for 2.5-inch models. Stay up-to-date with these developments by looking out for ‘future of storage’ articles in Knowledge Drive.