Western Digital Promises 40TB HDDs Thanks to Microwaves

/ 3 years ago

WD MAMR Technology Slide for 40TB Drives

Storage drives have come a long way in the past 10 years, but that’s nothing in comparison with what Western Digital has planned. The recent improvements to the possible capacity have been impressive, but they still rely on the same basic technology. That’s about to change as Western Digital introduced the worlds first microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) HDD.

“As the volume, velocity, variety, value and longevity of both Big Data and Fast Data grow, a new generation of storage technologies are needed to not only support ever-expanding capacities, but ultimately help our customers analyze and garner insights into our increasingly connected universe of data,” said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital. “Our ground-breaking advancement in MAMR technology will enable Western Digital to address the future of high capacity storage by redefining the density potential of HDDs and introduce a new class of highly reliable, ultra-high capacity drives.”

Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording

The new MAMR technology is innovative, yet classic in regards to the materials. It uses an electromagnetic field to assist writing, allowing for much more precise storage. The advantage over other energy-assisted technologies, such as heat-assisted magnetic recording, is that it utilises the same materials. HAMR would require the development of new materials to become reliable enough. MAMR, on the other hand, demonstrates reliability and a cost profile that meets the demands of data centres.

MAMR HDD Time Table

The new technology was demonstrated at the Innovation to Fuel the Next Decade of Big Data event, meaning that the technology works. So when will we see the first drives on the market? Well, that will be a while. Western Digital expects the first ultra-high capacity MAMR HDDs to ship in 2019 with a yet unspecified capacity. However, their overall goal is to have 40TB HDDs on the market by 2025. Considering that we’ve just breached the 14TB barrier, that isn’t a long wait for such a capacity increase.

Technology Information Video

Western Digital has a nice new video which demonstrates all of their HDD innovations, including the new MAMR.

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