Hard drives are like the oatmeal of the tech world: not especially interesting or revolutionary, but nutritionally balanced and necessary, especially in our information-hoarding, cloud-storage starved world. To address the demand for faster, higher capacity and low-cost storage options, Seagate is looking to fire up its hard drive lineup with next-gen heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology.
The new technology, which was demoed at CEATEC 2013 in Tokyo, uses a laser-generated beam to heat the medium inside at the specific area where data bits are being recorded. In its heated state, the medium has increased write ability, while cooling off allows it to stabilize the written data. The HAMR technology combines with self-ordered agnatic arrays of iron-platinum particles to reach storage densities as high as 50TB per square inch, breaking past magnetic recording limits by over a factor of 100.
The overall result is an increase in storage capacity, with Seagate aiming for a 2 TB model by around 2020. Put into perspective, the entire world's digital library of books would equate to about 400TB, which would conceivably be able to be stored on 20 HAMR drives. No more trips to the library needed, ever!
At the moment, Seagate drives run on shingled magnetic recording technology (SMR), but the company will continue working on its HAMR drives. The HAMR technology will be incorporated into a 2.5-inch enterprise drives that spin at 10K RPM, ideal for companies running on blade servers.