Seagate sees path to 120TB HDDs in 2030s

Posted on Thursday, Mar 11 2021 @ 13:35 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Since the first solid state disks became affordable for the average computer enthusiast, most of us quickly switched to flash-based storage as it was (and still is) one of the biggest upgrades you can make versus a HDD-based system.

Pricing of SSDs is a lot lower than it used to be, but storage makers are still selling a lot of hard disk drives to the datacenter market. Companies are still working on better magnetic recording technology and Seagate recently published its long-term HDD roadmap.

First up, the company promises 50TB HAMR-based HDDs by 2026 and 100TB versions by 2030. Models with 120TB capacity are deemed possible for a launch sometime next decade by switching to new bit patterned media types.

More performance too

HDDs can't match SSDs in terms of performance but multi-actuator technology is ready to deliver a big boost in sequential and random performance. By using two actuators, Seagate plans to roughly double the IOPS-per-TB performance of its HDDs, and increase read/write speeds. Volume shipments to cloud/edge clients are expected this year and the MACH.2 technology is expected to become more commonplace in the 2022-2023 timeframe.
There are about a dozen of customers that already use Seagate's Mach.2 PMR-based HDDs in their datacenters, although these drives do not have a commercial branding. Eventually, the company plans to make Mach.2 HDDs available to other clients, yet the company does not disclose when this is set to happen. However, the manufacturer is poised to use its Mach.2 technology more broadly once its drives hit capacities of above 30 TB, as drives with one actuator will not have sufficient performance, and a one-actuator design would increase the total cost of ownership.

Seagate expects HDDs to remain cheaper than SSD

Seagate is already a big maker of SSDs but the company is confident that HDD technology will stick around for quite a long time. At the moment, 90 percent of cloud datacenter storage is HDD-based. Seagate believes this will continue for the foreseeable future as HDDs will remain cheaper than SSDs in terms of cost-per-GB. The storage firm expects the total cost of ownership (TCO) of HDDs and SSDs will stay roughly in equilibrium. AnandTech has more details over here.

Seagate path to 120TB HDDs

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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