After two decades of research, Seagate is confident heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is right around the corner. Various breakthroughs have been made and the storage firm claims the first HAMR HDDs with a 20TB or more capacity will hit the market in 2020.
Seagate currently predicts it will be able to offer 36TB HDDs in 2021/2022 and 48TB in 2023/2024. HAMR is anticipated to enable areal density to double every 2.5 years, which may result in 100TB HDDs beyond 2025.
To improve performance, Seagate is developing multi-actuator technology. The first drives with dual-actuator technology are expected in 2019, these will be PMR-based disks with a capacity of 14TB. HAMR will feature product lines with single and multi-actuator, the first will be aimed at capacity, while the latter will be aimed at performance.
Full details at The Register.
Looking into the future, Seagate still sees a role for HDDs. Once HAMR is no longer able to provide improvements in areal density, the company can switch to HDMR (heated dot magnetic recording):
When HAMR tech loses its ability to advance areal density further, Seagate envisages using HDMR (heated dot magnetic recording), a refinement of HAMR that uses BPMR (bit-patterned media recording) in which smaller bits (made up of individual magnetic grains) sit on raised dots or islands a few nanometres above a baseline. That would effectively increase the separation between neighbouring bits.