The push for SSDs to surpass HDDs in terms of generally storage has hit a bit of impasse as of late. It’s been vaguely assumed for a while that traditional hard drive storage had reached somewhat of a peak in terms of density, or at least a case of significant diminishing returns. Well, the advantage has just swung back in favour of good old-fashioned mechanical HDDs.
Japanese firm Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has just unveiled its new HAMR-technology-based HDD media.
The next-gen media is manufactured using Fe-Pt magnetic alloy films and HAMR, or Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording, technology. It uses tiny grains of magnetic crystals on ultra-thin film in order to provide thermal stability and reliable writability of data.
SDK has figured out a new method for structuring these magnetic crystals, improving density and enhancing magnetic coercivity by an order of several times over traditional HD media.
So that’s the science behind it, but what about the benefit to the end user? Well, SDK believes HAMR-based media will be able to achieve a recording density of 5-6 Tb/square inch. SDK will theoretically be able to use this technology to produce 3.5-inch hard drives with storage capacities between a whopping 70-80TB.
As of right now, the world’s highest capacity 3.5” enterprise hard drive is the 16TB helium-filled Seagate Exos X16. SDK’s potential solution would increase storage density by as much as 400%.
The benefits to such a change would be change - the sheer amount of data being generated globally each year will be mind-blowing. Server racks around the world will be filled to the brim with storage media, all of it taking up an immense footprint, both physically and environmentally. Expanding potential storage capacity by a factor of five could prove a huge boon in this regard.