The company behind a lot of the platters that go into millions of hard disk drives worldwide has disclosed that it has finished working on a new generation of heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) media for hard drives.
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) claims that the new platters will achieve areal density of 5 to 6Tb per square inch, which is between four and five times what current platters offer.
The biggest hard disk drives on the market offer up to nine spinning disks and extrapolating SDK’s numbers mean that 80TB hard drives could become a reality during this decade.
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Out of the dozens of hard disk manufacturers from a few decades ago, only three remain after a series of consolidations; Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba now produce millions of HDDs with an increasing number going into hyperscale service providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
The biggest hard disk drive currently available is a 20TB hard disk drive from Western Digital, the Ultrastar HC650 which uses a different technology called SMR. As for pricing, the cheapest hard disk drive, per capacity, has a per Terabyte price approaching $15 which would put the price of an 80TB hard drive at around $1,200.
While that sounds a lot the potential savings in terms of storage capacity, power consumption and general maintenance will likely outweigh the capital expenditure.
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