The company behind the platters that power millions of hard disk drives worldwide has confirmed it has finished work on a new generation of heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) media.
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) claims the new platters will achieve areal density of 5 to 6TB per square inch, which is between four and five times what current platters offer.
The biggest hard disk drives on the market offer up to nine spinning disks. If SDK’s numbers are accurate, this means 80TB hard drives could become a reality this decade.
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After series of acquisitions and consolidations, only three main hard disk manufacturers remain today. Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba all produce millions of HDDs, with an increasing number going to hyperscale service providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
The biggest hard disk drive currently available is a 20TB model from Western Digital, the Ultrastar HC650, which uses a technology called SMR.
As for pricing, the cheapest hard disk drive by capacity has a per Terabyte price approaching $15, which would put the price of an 80TB hard drive at around $1,200.
That might sound a lot, but the potential savings in terms of storage capacity, power consumption and general maintenance would likely outweigh the capital expenditure.
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