Seagate is a well-known name in the memory market and has always been a strong advocate of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) for years and has even shipped thousands of such hard drives to select customers.
But according to sources, the company still does not have any plans of making the first generation of its HAMR-based HDDs a high-volume product. But we do know that Seagate, is working on its second-generation HAMR drives that are expected to roll out to a mass market.
“We have a 20TB HAMR that we started to sell December last year, […] we are just producing enough quantity that we can sell to our main customers so that they get familiar with the new drive. We are developing our second-generation HAMR drive that will be probably around 30TB. That is the drive that we want to ramp in volume.”
However, it remains unknown as to when the company is expecting its second-generation HAMR platform to hit the market. But, since, Seagate has plans of launching a 50TB HDD in FY2025 (which ends in mid-2025), we can expect the company to launch its 30TB hard drives sometime before that the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Coming back to Seagate’s HAMR technology, allows the company to increase the areal density of its HDDs significantly since modern 20TB HDDs features nine platters and have an areal density of around 1.116 Tb/inch2, Seagate showed the world that its HAMR technology can support areal densities of up to 2.6 Tb/inch2 and plans to grow this size up to 6 Tb/inch2 by 2030 to enable 100TB 3.5-inch HDDs.
Datacenters these days require high speed and density and most of them are not afraid of using brand new technologies, so they will likely adopt HAMR-based drives before Seagate rolls out its 2nd Generation HAMR HDDs.
It will be interesting to see how Seagate plans to keep increasing the capacities of its hard drives before its next-generation HAMR platform emerges.