Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Seagate Reaches Terabit Areal Density Milestone

By - Source: Seagate | B 40 comments

This new areal density milestone could pave the way to 3.5-inch drives with 60 TB capacities.

Seagate said on Monday that it has become the first HDD manufacturer to achieve the milestone storage density of 1 terabit per square inch. It was accomplished by using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) instead of the traditional Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) method. This achievement is expected to pave the way to 3.5-inch HDDs with 60 TB capacities possibly just over a decade away... if we're even using hard drives by then, that is.

"Hard drive manufacturers increase areal density and capacity by shrinking a platter’s data bits to pack more within each square inch of disk space," the company explains. "They also tighten the data tracks, the concentric circles on the disk’s surface that anchor the bits. The key to areal density gains is to do both without disruptions to the bits’ magnetization, a phenomenon that can garble data."

Yet by using HAMR technology, Seagate said that it has achieved a linear bit density of about 2 million bits per inch, resulting in a data density of just over 1 trillion bits, or 1 terabit, per square inch -- 55-percent higher than today’s areal density ceiling of 620 gigabits per square inch.

Seagate said that the first generation of HAMR drives, at just over 1 terabit per square inch, will likely more than double the capacities of the largest 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch hard drives on the market today, resulting in 6 TB and 2 TB drives respectively at the very least. With a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch, capacities will likely reach to 30 TB to 60 TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10 TB to 20 TB for 2.5-inch drives.

"The growth of social media, search engines, cloud computing, rich media and other data-hungry applications continues to stoke demand for ever greater storage capacity," said Mark Re, senior vice president of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate. "Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content."

Seagate achieved the 1 terabit per square inch breakthroughs in materials science and near-field optics at its heads and media research and development centers in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Fremont, California.

Display 40 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    tipmen , March 20, 2012 12:51 AM
    Oh my, a drive that can hold all of my p0rn... I mean movies
  • 24 Hide
    weatherdude , March 20, 2012 1:12 AM
    Goodness, I remember when PMR was the new sparkly technology ready to take the HDD world like a couple of years ago or something. Now HAMR looks set to do the same. *sniff* You engineers make me so proud with all of your science. Sweet magical materials science.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2012 12:57 AM
    sounds interesting, how about also increasing read/write speed ? it would take ages to backup all that data
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    tipmen , March 20, 2012 12:51 AM
    Oh my, a drive that can hold all of my p0rn... I mean movies
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2012 12:57 AM
    sounds interesting, how about also increasing read/write speed ? it would take ages to backup all that data
  • 24 Hide
    weatherdude , March 20, 2012 1:12 AM
    Goodness, I remember when PMR was the new sparkly technology ready to take the HDD world like a couple of years ago or something. Now HAMR looks set to do the same. *sniff* You engineers make me so proud with all of your science. Sweet magical materials science.
  • 16 Hide
    balister , March 20, 2012 1:24 AM
    Gigahertz20The bigger the hard drive, the more data you are going to lose if it fails. I don't think I would ever want to buy a really big hard drive to store everything on. If it fails, you are up shit creek. I'd rather buy several 2TB hard drives to throw into an unraid server or something, if one fails, no big deal, pull it out and put a new one in and let it re-populate the data.


    You do realize that people will just RAID the large drives as well right? Thus being able to have the same level of fault tolerance you're talking about, but with more space. The only downside in having large drives in a RAID situation where you have fault tolerance (something other than RAID 0), it will just take longer to rebuild the fault tolerance when a drive dies.

    Likewise, as drive size goes up, cost per G(T)/B goes down. Just take a quick look at NewEgg some time and note the price difference between a 500 GB drive, a 1 TB drive, and a 2 TB drive. The price per GB is lower on the 2 TB than the other two and the price per GB on the 1 TB is lower still than the 500 GB drive.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2012 1:25 AM
    How many 3D 4K resolution porn videos does it take to fill up a 60TB hard drive?
  • 14 Hide
    bin1127 , March 20, 2012 1:33 AM
    tipmenOh my, a drive that can hold all of my p0rn... I mean movies


    Porn; movies; all the same. No plot and bad acting.
  • -5 Hide
    fuzzion , March 20, 2012 2:00 AM
    I will stick with my SSD and HDD 1tb config. Most movies,shows and music still occupy less than half my drives.
  • -2 Hide
    memadmax , March 20, 2012 2:09 AM
    If they want to stay in the game with regards to SSD, they had better put this tech into high gear and make it faster than other hard drives.
  • 7 Hide
    EzioAs , March 20, 2012 2:17 AM
    People keep complaining about larger capacities, higher fail rates. Well, that's what they said when the first 1TB storage drives came out and smaller ones before them. Now we see most people opt for either a single 1TB or 2TB or 3TB drive. Get real, people!
  • 9 Hide
    jay2tall , March 20, 2012 2:20 AM
    Who says SSD's are the wave of the future? haha. I will never have to delete anything ever again with 60TB.
  • -5 Hide
    alidan , March 20, 2012 2:38 AM
    tipmenOh my, a drive that can hold all of my p0rn... I mean movies

    is there a difference between the two?

    loksfoxsounds interesting, how about also increasing read/write speed ? it would take ages to backup all that data


    lets see here, i have a 1.5tb drive, if you expanded it to 60tb, the read/write would be in the 5gb range, thats if the read write scales with dencity (it somewhat does)

    memadmaxIf they want to stay in the game with regards to SSD, they had better put this tech into high gear and make it faster than other hard drives.


    ssd have a harder to over come physical wall than hdds, and they will always be more expensive, while newer hdds are comeing with so much space, for a normal person its possible that they never use up all the space on them... if the drives got faster and tried to make everything a sequential read, its possible to match ssds in read speed.
  • 8 Hide
    dudemcduderson , March 20, 2012 2:57 AM
    bunnywannyHow many 3D 4K resolution porn videos does it take to fill up a 60TB hard drive?


    I just looked it up, for uncompressed 4k video at 8bit color depth and 30fps you are looking at 2.69TB per hour and 44GB per minute, although I have no idea what/if 3D adds anything to it.

    That being said Sony needs to say screw the 100GB Blu-ray tech and start looking more toward 10TB lol.
  • -5 Hide
    gokanis , March 20, 2012 3:20 AM
    If only they made a drive that was worth a crap.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2012 3:22 AM
    dudemcdudersonI just looked it up, for uncompressed 4k video at 8bit color depth and 30fps you are looking at 2.69TB per hour and 44GB per minute, although I have no idea what/if 3D adds anything to it. That being said Sony needs to say screw the 100GB Blu-ray tech and start looking more toward 10TB lol.

    Thanks for informing me :)  Only 20hrs of porn can be saved on a 60TB, i guess. Its time for petabytes. As for 3D, its somewhere on the internet since the porn industry likes to take advantage of new media.
  • 6 Hide
    nonoitall , March 20, 2012 3:26 AM
    @dudemcduderson: Even with lots of space on hand, there's not really a strong reason to store movies uncompressed, unless you're editing them. For most content, an average bitrate of 20 Mbps is sufficient for very good quality 1080p. If we assume the same bits-per-pixel for 4k, 320 Mbps or 2.24 GB/min would be sufficient, though in practice, bits-per-pixel can usually decrease as resolution increases.
  • 2 Hide
    divhon , March 20, 2012 3:51 AM
    heck with the higher capacity or blazing speed I just want the old regular price of my caviar blue and black I have no time for porn when D3 arrives
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , March 20, 2012 4:07 AM
    dudemcdudersonI just looked it up, for uncompressed 4k video at 8bit color depth and 30fps you are looking at 2.69TB per hour and 44GB per minute, although I have no idea what/if 3D adds anything to it. That being said Sony needs to say screw the 100GB Blu-ray tech and start looking more toward 10TB lol.
    ... or compress it? i mean lets be honest here, how many of us can see a difference between uncompressed and slight compression? i recently did 10 seconds of uncompressed 1280x720 at 30fps just to see what it would be, it came out to almost 700mb... 1 hour of that comes to 252gb about. there is no excuse for that kind of file size, when a bluray rip of 720p can look damn good at less than 500mb a half hour

    now this is another point to make, some times compression can look immaculate. there is an archer season 1 and 2 rip floating around that is 100mb an episode at 720p... and it was better looking than my previous sd at 400mb encode.

    think if it, thats a 720p 21~ minute show, and its compressed to 100mb an episode... correct that, 91mb an episode.

    the point im making is that compression isn't an evil in and of itself, most people wont notice the difference between a well compressed video, and an uncompressed video.

    divhonheck with the higher capacity or blazing speed I just want the old regular price of my caviar blue and black I have no time for porn when D3 arrives


    same here, holding off on 4tb drive till prices are at 200$
  • 7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 20, 2012 4:11 AM
    bin1127Porn; movies; all the same. No plot and bad acting.

    Oh there's a plot...what goes in, must come out.
  • 3 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 20, 2012 6:10 AM
    Gigahertz20The bigger the hard drive, the more data you are going to lose if it fails. I don't think I would ever want to buy a really big hard drive to store everything on. If it fails, you are up shit creek. I'd rather buy several 2TB hard drives to throw into an unraid server or something, if one fails, no big deal, pull it out and put a new one in and let it re-populate the data.


    Or just buy 2 of these large drives, 1 for backup. Problem solved.
Display more comments