Despite the fact that Seagate just started selling its 20TB HAMR drives in December of last year, the company is already working on 2nd generation HAMR drives with 30TB capacity.
As reported by Tom’s Hardware, the storage company has long been a strong proponent of heat-assisted magnetic record (HAMR) technology for years now. Seagate has even shipped thousands of these drives to select customers.
For those unfamiliar with HAMR, by temporarily heating the disk material during the writing process, the technology significantly enhances the amount of data that can be stored on a magnetic hard drive which allows for more data to be written in the same area.
While consumers have turned to faster solid-state drives (SSDs) for their storage needs, companies that operate exascale data centers continue to rely on hard disk drives (HDDs) for storing large amounts of data. For their use case, HAMR drives are the perfect solution as they can store even more data in the same 3.5-inch form factor.
2nd generation HAMR drives
The news that Seagate is developing 2nd gen HAMR drives was revealed by the company’s CFO Ginluca Romano at the Citi 2021 Global Technology Virtual Conference earlier this month.
According to Seeking Alpha which has released a transcript of the virtual event, Romano explained to attendees that the company will produce even more of its next generation of HAMR drives, saying:
“We have a 20TB HAMR that we actually started to sell December last year, we are just producing enough quantity that we can sell to our main customers so that they get familiar with the new drive. We are developing our second-generation HAMR drive that will be probably around 30TB. That is the drive that we want to ramp in volume.”
While Romano has revealed that Seagate is working on new HAMR drives, he didn’t disclose when they’ll be available. However, as the company plans to launch a 50TB HDD in 2025, 2nd gen HAMR drives could likely arrive in 2023 or in early 2024.