Huge 18TB hard drives will soon be here

HGST helium hard disk

Helium-using hard disks will push storage capacities up to the 18TB mark in just a couple of years, according to a new report.

Storage research firm TrendFocus reckons that drive manufacturers will be able to dispense with disk platter separator components, which will allow for more platters to be squeezed into a 3.5-inch enclosure.

Because of that, we could be looking at nine platter drives with the platters themselves a touch larger too, and able to hold 1.5TB of data each, pushing up to a capacity of near-14TB when we reach next year.

That's using perpendicular magnetic recording tech, but a switch to shingled magnetic recording will facilitate a further boost in capacity still, with 18TB drives expected to arrive by 2018.

Capacity for the cloud

Of course, these drives will be pitched at the likes of hyper-scale data centres and cloud operators, but as ever when technology pushes forward at the cutting edge there's always a trickle-down effect which will reach lower-end drives suitable for consumers and small businesses.

On the SSD front, we've already seen large drives hitting the likes of 13TB sizes, and Samsung has a 16TB model which recently started shipping in limited quantities (be warned that it is prohibitively expensive, as are all these massive SSDs).

Although away from these truly high-end models, it seems that the price gap between hard drives and SSDs is narrowing this year, with solid-state drives coming more into line compared to the asking prices of spinning disks.

Via: The Register

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).