Seagate unveils future of HDDs with HAMR sandwich

Seagate has unveiled what it thinks is the future of hard disk drives with a storage density of one trillion bits per square inch.

The firm has shown that there is plenty of life left in hard drives, claiming that it will be able to double storage capacity in a few years. It should then be possible to create a massive 60 terabyte 3.5 inch hard drives in another ten years.

Seagate managed to achieve this with a new type of data recording technology – heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) – which allowed the company to reach the ‘milestone’ density of one trillion bits.

To put that into perspective, according to star-gazing Seagate, that is way more bits than there are shiny white things in the Milky Way.

With the HAMR technology, which follows on from current perpendicular magnetic recording technology, Seagate has managed to increase densities currently possible by 55 percent.

This means roughly twice the density of 620 gigabytes per square inch, previously thought to be the maximum.

At the moment, the maximum 3.5 inch hard drive size is a fairly substantial three terabytes, but for just the first iteration of HAMR drives this will mean doubling capacity to 6TB.

The possibility to scale up even further means pushing way beyond 30TB on 3.5 inch drives.

This could be good news for the hard drive industry, which has been dealing with massive shortages in the wake of the Thai flooding last year.   It is positive for data centres supporting the needs of cloud computing as it continues to take over storage needs.   Quite what the average PC user would do with a 60 terabyte HDD in their living room is another thing. Download the internet?