Memory and StorageNews

Toshiba Demos HDDs with a Capacity of Over 30TB Using HAMR & MAMR

Toshiba has successfully demonstrated its densest HDDs with storage capacities of over 30TB using advanced recording technologies. Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) were used to push the storage capacity to its limits. HAMR HDDs include a laser (near light field) in the drive head that heats up the platter tracks before recording data.

This is continued till the temperature of the platter rises high enough to disrupt its magnetic coercivity. At this point, the areal recording density reaches a high, boosting its recording capabilities beyond what was previously possible. Of course, it’s not as simple as heating the drive surface and proceeding as before. HAMR requires advanced components.

A suitable drive head (writer), reader, and smaller grains with high magnetic coercivity are the fundamental requirements of a HAMR drive. And then there’s MAMR. Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording employs microwaves and magnetic waves to enhance recording density similar to how HAMR uses heat to do the same.

The microwaves produce a field that allows data recording or magnetization at a lower magnetic field than traditional drives. This increases the areal density of the disk platter the same way heat does in HAMR. And like HAMR, MAMR also requires specialized write-heads with a spin torque oscillator capable of generating a magnetic field.

The spin torque oscillator of a MAMR drive needs to hold a consistent oscillation frequency. Furthermore, the power source of this oscillator needs to be accommodated in a 3.5-inch HDD form factor without significantly altering the drive specifications. MAMR drives also require complex recording media with balanced layers, each having different levels of hardness to resonate with the oscillating frequency of the microwaves.

Toshiba has demonstrated 32TB HDDs using 10 disk platters and Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) using HAMR technology. The first test samples of these drives will start shipping in 2025. It’s worth noting that Seagate already has a 32TB HAMR drive on the market. The Mosaic 3+ with storage capacities of 30TB and 32TB also uses HAMR and SMR to achieve the same feat with 10 glass disks.

Toshiba’s MAMR drives are further along in the pipeline. After demonstrating and mass-producing the 1st generation drives in 2021, Toshiba has managed a peak capacity of 31TB using 11 disks. These drives employ MAMR and SMR recording technologies.

Source: Toshiba.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact:
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