On the company's blog, Seagate reveals it has build and tested world's first formatted and fully functioning 3.5-inch 16TB enterprise HDD that uses HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) technology. Seagate is confident the HAMR technology will enable shipments of HDDs with a capacity of over 20TB in 2020. Presumably, the 16TB version will ship in 2019.
HAMR uses a new kind of media magnetic technology on each disk that allows data bits, or grains, to become smaller and more densely packed than ever, while remaining magnetically stable. A small laser diode attached to each recording head heats a tiny spot on the disk, which enables the recording head to flip the magnetic polarity of each very stable bit, enabling data to be written. Seagate’s proprietary execution of HAMR technology will be delivered in the industry’s standard form factor, thus reducing total cost of ownership by getting a lot more terabytes (TB) into the same space as a conventional hard drive.
Seagate says the HAMR-based HDDs are fully plug-and-play, and operate like conventional drives in standard integration benchmark tests.
“The Exos HAMR drives run like all other drives in a standard suite of integration benchmarks. At this point in early testing, they’re meeting our expectations for how a drive should interact in each benchmark,” Feist explains. “These are the same tests that customers use to qualify every new drive, including power efficiency tests, sg3_utils utilities that test SCSI commands to devices, standard smartmontools utility programs that will enable customers to characterize and compare HAMR drives in their environment right next to PMR drives, and several four-corners tests of reads, writes, random, sequential and mixed workloads.”