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Western Digital Introduces New Ultra-high Capacity Hard Disk Drives

The storage media manufacturer Western Digital believes, it has bypassed a boundary that will open doors to more capacious, more efficient storage operation inside HDDs that seemingly enables ultra-high capacity to meet the future high-scale demands of big data.

Company expects to begin shipping ultra-high capacity MAMR HDDs in 2019 for use in data centers that support big data applications across a full range of industries.

MAMR is one of two energy-assisted technologies that Western Digital has been developing for years. The company recently announced a breakthrough in material and process that provides the required reliable and predictable performance, as well as the manufacturability to accelerate areal density and cost improvements to an estimated average of 15% per year. 

Developments in the other energy-assisted technology--specifically, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR)--present new material science and reliability challenges that are not a factor in MAMR. Only MAMR demonstrates the reliability and cost profile that meets the demands of data center operators, WD said.

At the center of the company’s innovation breakthrough is the “spin torque oscillator,” which is used to generate a microwave field that increases the ability to record data at ultra-high density without sacrificing reliability. Western Digital’s MAMR technology is expected to offer more than 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time. With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that timeframe.

Commercialization of MAMR technology will pave the way to higher recording densities, and lower cost per terabyte hard disk drives for enterprise datacenters, video surveillance systems, and consumer NAS products.

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