Seagate’s first generation of hard drives using HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) technology has been available for some time, and the second generation of HAMR technology is currently under development, offering capacities in excess of 30TB.
According to Seeking Alpha, Seagate said in a recent earnings conference call with analysts and investors that it intends to provide hard drives with a capacity of 30TB or more, all based on HAMR technology, starting in mid-2023. It is expected to only ship to specific users such as data centers, and will not be available in large quantities for the time being. Seagate said it will further expand to 50TB or more in the future, but the specific time has not been determined.
The new generation of HAMR technology has different requirements for the medium, disk, magnetic head, main control chip, and cache mechanism of the hard disk. Some people in the industry speculate that it will be more difficult to manufacture new parts and the cost will be higher. With capacities of 30TB or more and using a single drive, performance degrades with increasing capacity, so Seagate has expanded its Mach.2 technology to use dual drives.
When Seagate previously introduced its product and technology roadmap, it said it expected to launch 50TB hard drives by 2026, 100TB hard drives by 2030, and more than 120TB hard drives early in the next decade. In addition, Seagate CEO Dave Mosley once said that different technologies (PMR, SMR, HAMR, and TDMR) will be used in large-capacity hard drives in the future to meet the wide-ranging needs of different markets and customers and complement the existing product line.