As the world’s demand for storage continues to grow, Seagate is committed to maintaining its leadership position in hard disk drive technologies and ship the highest capacity and most reliable drives in the market.

HAMR Head and Laser AssemblySeagate has been working on heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) in one form or another since the late 1990s. During this time we have had many breakthroughs in making reliable near field transducers, special high capacity HAMR media, and figuring out a way to put a laser on each and every head that is no larger than a grain of salt.

This year we plan to ship some sample HAMR drives to a few of our customers and we plan on fully productizing the technology before the end of the decade.

Leadership in advanced research is crucial

Although many challenges remain, and lots of hard work is still required, we believe this technology is nearly ready for commercialization. Seagate is committed to making this technology work and we have the best engineers in the world working towards a goal of a 20 Terabyte drive by 2020.

Seagate joined with 12 other founding members and on November 9th, 2010 announced the formation of the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium (ASTC). Each year Seagate and member companies contribute money to ASTC to fund university research in pre-competitive storage technologies.

In addition, every year ASTC publishes a technology roadmap to help prioritize our university funding and align our suppliers and customers to our industry consensus roadmap. The current roadmap can be found at the IDEMA website by following the links to ASTC.

Where does the technology roadmap lead?

As the roadmap shows, we’ll continue to extend perpendicular magnetic recording for another few years with the introduction of helium-filled drives, shingled magnetic recording and multiple readers.

Some time around 2018/2019 you will start to see the first HAMR drives appear on the market. These HAMR drives will offer drive capacities around 16 Terabytes or greater in our large form factor drives such as our 3.5” nearline product family.

The HAMR technology will continue to evolve, and if all goes according to the ASTC roadmap, take us to drive capacities around 50 Terabytes early next decade. At this point we will have to combine HAMR with bit-patterned media. We call this heated dot magnetic recording (HDMR) and the industry consensus is that 100 Terabyte drives will be possible with this technology in the future.

They’ll be more after HDMR and we’re looking at all kinds of new and exciting storage technologies to continue to meet the needs of the world’s insatiable demand for low-cost high-capacity reliable storage.

2016 ASTC Technology Roadmap

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