The past year has been particularly bad for hard drive manufacturers with the Thailand floods affecting factories and thus resulting in hard drive shortages. However, things are slowly going back to normal and we can expect prices to stabilize as the year passes on. Seagate is particularly excited for another reason, though. They have announced that they’ve been able to reach a data density of 1TB in a square inch of area. This according to them should allow them to offer 60TB, 3.5-inch drives in the years to come. The new technology is being called HAMR (Heat-assisted Magnetic Recording). Most of the new technology was developed at Seagate’s media and research centres in Bloomington, Minnesota and Fremont, California.

Best of both worlds

Best of both worlds

Currently high capacity technologies on 3.5-inch drives allow them to store 3TB of data on them. Seagate expects drives based on the new technology to take this number to 6TB. 2.5-inch drives meant for notebooks should double to roughly 2TB. The density of the new drives should be roughly 55 percent more than existing hard drives. The issue with traditional high-density hard drives is that there are a lot of disruptions, due to the density. HAMR improves on these drawbacks offering even denser storage of data on the drives. Mark Re, Senior Vice President of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate said “Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content.” Seagate expects storage demands to skyrocket over the years as growth of social media and cloud services accelerate. 

Of course, 30 and 60TB drives on the 3.5-inch drive format will take a little longer and should be here in a few years time. The density of data should reach 5 to 10 Terabits per square inch. Seagate clearly is serious about hard drives, even as the world slowly starts moving to solid-state drives.

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