The race to 30TB: Seagate to blow WD's new record-breaking HDD out of the water

The race to 30TB: Seagate to blow WD’s new record-breaking HDD out of the water

Seagate says 30TB+ drives will land by mid-2023. Seagate has announced it is targeting mid-2023 for the launch of its first hard disk drives (HDDs) to exceed a capacity of 30TB.

On the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO David Mosley stated that development is going well and that Seagate is on pace to begin shipping its “30TB+ family of drives” to chosen customers by “this time next year.”

The new drives will be based on heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology, which industry observers believe would open the door for HDDs far larger than the present crop, even though the precise specs are still to be determined.

World’s largest hard drive

Enterprises and cloud providers need to fit more data into the same physical footprint as the amount of data generated by internet activity, digital devices, and IoT sensors continues to grow at an accelerated rate.

They’ll need high-capacity hard drives that offer far higher storage density than existing models, which Seagate and its competitors are working hard to supply (along with cost savings for real estate, cooling, and other factors).

largest hard disk in the world Western Digital now manufactures the largest hard disk in the world; early last year, the company introduced a 26TB HDD with ten platters. The increase in capacity was ascribed to new UltraSMR technology, which boosts tracks-per-inch by combining huge block encoding and sophisticated error correction (TPI).

Seagate is adopting a distinctive strategy centered on HAMR in an effort to triumph in the race to 30TB. Aerial density is significantly increased by HAMR because it allows for the writing of a greater number of bits to the same surface area while only briefly heating a small portion of the disk.

The proponents of HAMR believe the technology could ultimately yield hard drives with capacities in excess of 50TB in future.

Choppy waters

Advances in research and development aside, however, Seagate is currently facing a number of economic headwinds.

Mosley and CFO Gianluca Romano both foresaw a decline in revenue due to inflationary pressures, ongoing component shortages, and other factors during the same results call.

As we start fiscal 2023, Romano said, “We anticipate macro uncertainty and non-HDD component shortages to continue to put pressure on our end market over the short term.”

Due to the challenging market conditions, Seagate said it will reduce production levels and concentrate on improving supply chain and manufacturing floor efficiencies.

Although we think the end market demand disruptions are only temporary, Mosley continued, “we are conscious of the current macro concerns.”

“We are maintaining prudent cost controls across the business and executing our product roadmap, which also helps to support our customers’ TCO objectives.”

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