Toshiba's next-generation 20TB hard drives may be just around the corner as the company's yet-to-be-announced MG10-series nearline hard drives have passed SATA interoperability validation tests. In addition to nearline HDDs, the company will also offer 20TB drives for desktops and NAS.
Toshiba's latest 18TB hard drives for nearline applications belong to the MG09 family of HDDs that rely on the company's 9-platter helium-filled platform featuring flux-control microwave-assisted magnetic recording (FC-MAMR) technology. The company's next-generation HDDs — which will likely belong to the MG10-series — are expected to use a brand-new platform with 10 FC-MAMR disks, based on the company's mid-term HDD roadmap published earlier this week.
The mid-term HDD roadmap indicates that Toshiba will launch its 10-platter FC-MAMR 20TB HDD in its fiscal year 2021, which ends on March 31, 2021. Toshiba's MG-series drives for nearline applications are the first to adopt the company's latest technologies. In addition, they will be the first products to use the 10-disk platform to offer a 20TB capacity. That said, it is not surprising that MG10-series drives already received validation for interoperability (given that they have an unveiling within the next few weeks).
But the most significant intrigue about the upcoming announcement is not even the 20TB capacity. Instead, it is about model numbers with the F derivative. Toshiba has a particular model numbering scheme (opens in new tab) for hard drives, as stated in the table below. The fourth character always characterizes height. In the case of standard 3.5-inch drives, it is 26.1 mm and carries the A designation. In the case of the upcoming MG10-series, their drives with their height have the F designation.
Given how hyper scalers buy hard drives, F may mean nothing, yet this thing is worth attention, even in an imprecise form.
SATA-IO, the organization that oversees the development and adoption of the Serial ATA technology, already lists Toshiba's MG10 and MG10F-series HDDs in its integrators list, which means that the drives have passed SATA interoperability testing. In addition to enterprise-grade offerings, the lineup of HDDs validated under the MG10 and MG10F monikers also includes MN10 drives for NAS (HDWG-series for retail products) as well as MD10 drives for desktops (HDWR-series for retail drives).