Seagate promises 50TB hard drives by 2026 with transfer rates of up to 480MB/s using HAMR and MACH.2
Seagate has set ambitious goals for the next five years, promising 50TB hard drives by 2026, and 30TB offerings starting next year. The hard drive vendor shared its future roadmap during the launch of the Cool Eagle AI 20TB hard drive. Seagate plans to switch entirely from people with reduced mobility (perpendicular magnetic recording) and SMR (shingled magnetic recording) at HAMR (Heat-assisted Magnetic Recording) this year, while expanding the use of its MACH.2 multi-actuator technology.
HAMR increases storage density 5-10 times over PMR, dramatically pushing the upper limits of high-capacity hard drives. With the adoption of multi-actuator technologies such as MACH.2, the transfer rates of next-generation mechanical drives will also be significantly higher. We are talking about sequential transfer rate up to 480MB/sroughly on par with SATA SSDs.
Perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR): PMR or Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) is the oldest method of recording data on magnetic media. It works by aligning the poles of the magnetic elements (bits) perpendicular to the disc surface. These magnetic tracks are written side by side, without overlapping.
Shingle Magnetic Recording (SMR): SMR is basically PMR on steroids. It increases the density of areal data by overlaying each new track with part of the previous one, much like shingles on a roof. This overlap reduces the thickness of the head, thereby increasing the areal density.
Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR), on the other hand, offers a multi-generational leap in drive density by briefly heating the magnetic platter during recording. This makes drives more susceptible to magnetic effects from the read/write head, allowing data to be recorded in much smaller blocks. This increases data density and overall disk capacity.