Monday, May 27, 2024

The new Toshiba HDDs hold almost 30 terabytes!

Toshiba HDDs

With the use of two next-generation large capacity recording technologies for hard disc drives (HDDs), Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation (Toshiba) has successfully reached storage capacities of over 30TB (HAMR and MAMR). An important step towards the development of commercial goods based on each of these newly popular recording formats has been reached with the demonstration drives.

One of the two methods advancing next-generation high-capacity data recording is HAMR, which uses near-field light to locally heat the disc to improve magnetic recording capacities. Toshiba successfully implemented Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology and reached 32TB on ten discs. With HAMR technology, Toshiba intends to begin shipping test sample HDDs in 2025.

Years of close cooperation with Toshiba HDD head maker TDK Corporation and HDD media manufacturer Resonac Corporation allowed for these remarkable accomplishments. In order to produce larger capacity HDDs to fulfil the expanding storage demand of cloud computing and datacenters, Toshiba and its cooperating partners are dedicated to continuing the development of both HAMR and MAMR technologies.

HAMR and MAMR Technology

Large platters are magnetised to hold data in traditional hard disc drives (HDDs). Putting any more data on these platters will be a challenge as technology develops. HAMR and MAMR are relevant in this situation.

Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)

The recording area on the platter is momentarily heated by a concentrated laser beam in the process of Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR). Through the use of a reduced magnetic field, the recording head can write data with a higher data density and smaller magnetic bits thanks to this localised heating. Although HAMR provides notable gains in capacity, the integration of the laser heating system into the HDD enclosure is a challenging aspect of the technology.

Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR)

During the writing process, a tiny antenna incorporated in the recording head emits microwave energy, utilising the technique known as Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR). Denser data storage is possible thanks to the microwaves, as opposed to traditional techniques, which make bit magnetization easier. When it comes to approach, MAMR is less complicated than HAMR. Toshiba has already produced first-generation MAMR drives in large quantities by 2021.

An Overview of the Future

One demonstration drive that used HAMR technology and another that used MAMR with additional enhancements were the two that Toshiba showcased.

HAMR Drive

With capacities over 30TB, this prototype was successful. Toshiba is reportedly stacking more platters inside the drive container than traditional HDDs, despite the fact that precise information have not been made public. Toshiba plans to start distributing HAMR HDD test samples in 2025.

MAMR Drive with Enhancements

Toshiba has achieved 31TB with its MAMR drive, which has been enhanced. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), enhanced signal processing methods, and MAMR technologies are combined in this accomplishment. Higher area density on the platters is made possible by SMR, which permits very small data track overlap. In contrast to traditional HDDs, SMR drives may occasionally have somewhat slower write speeds.

The achievement of these milestones was made possible by Toshiba’s partnership with head maker TDK Corporation and media producer Resonac Corporation. Creating the essential parts for these next-generation Toshiba HDDs required their joint experience in materials science and engineering, which was important.

Toshiba HDD Benefits

Exciting opportunities arise from the introduction of these high-capacity Toshiba HDDs:

Optimal Data Centre Efficiency

Data centres can lower their energy and physical footprint by having a lot more data store capacity per disc. Cost reductions and a greener method of data storage result from this.

Cloud storage on steroids

These large-capacity drives allow cloud storage companies to give their clients with more affordable and expandable storage options.

Entire Archive Management

The capacity to hold enormous datasets on a single disc will help companies and organisations that are struggling with ever-expanding data archives.

Toshiba HDD Potential Challenges

Nonetheless, there are still certain difficulties:

Cost and Complexity

The intricacy of engineering involved in both HAMR and MAMR technologies may result in increased production costs when compared to traditional Toshiba HDDs.

Write Speed Considerations

The utilisation of SMR in the MAMR drive may result in minor restrictions on write speed. For particular uses, figuring out the best ratio of speed to capacity will be essential.

Handling Heat

The heat produced by the laser must be controlled in order to use HAMR technology. For dependable drive performance, effective heat management solutions will be necessary.

Data Storage Is Entering a New Era

Toshiba HDD technology. Data storage looks brighter with HAMR and MAMR enabling ultra-high capacity devices. These improvements will meet rising data storage demand and improve data centre efficiency and sustainability. A paradigm shift in the way Toshiba store and organise Toshiba’s ever-growing digital environment should be expected as these technologies advance and production prices become more affordable.

Toshiba’s Next-Gen HDD Demonstrations: Specs at a Glance

FeatureHAMR Drive (estimated)MAMR Drive with Enhancements
TechnologyHeat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) with Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) and improved signal processing
CapacityOver 30 TB31 TB
PlattersLikely more than conventional HDDs (specific details not disclosed)11 (assumed based on typical nearline HDDs)
Write SpeedInformation not availableMay be slightly slower than conventional HDDs due to SMR
AvailabilityTest samples expected in 2025Information not available
Cheekuru Bhargav
Cheekuru Bhargav
Cheekuru Bhargav has been writing Laptops, RAM and SSD articles for govindhtech from OCT 2023. He was a science graduate. He was an enthusiast of Laptops.


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