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Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Bob


Seagate’s New Milestone: 1 Terabit Per Square Inch

Seagate has won the race to 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch with its next-generation recording technology: heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). In the current generation, hard disk drives use perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) to store data on the spinning disks at a typical density of around 620 gigabits per square inch.

At current areal densities, 3.5-inch drives are limited to 3TB, while 2.5-inch drives top out at 750GB. The first generation of HAMR drives, however, should allow for 6TB 3.5-inch drives and 2TB 2.5-inch drives, and Seagate expects the technology to scale over the next ten years to eventually provide densities of 30-60 TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10-20TB for 2.5-inch drives.

For more details, check out the Seagate press release.

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6 Responses to Seagate’s New Milestone: 1 Terabit Per Square Inch

  1. Dex says:

    But how fast will they be? If the data on the drive moves at a snails pace the hulking size is pointless to me. Aside from ridiculously high failure rates on anything over 1TB, the speed of these current generation drives is lackluster. I would much rather see more emphasis on the hybrid drives.

    • CharlieTango says:

      Unfortunately you are right about slower read speeds. This article says,

      ” Bear in mind that disk I/O speeds are static and that it will take 20 times longer to read an entire 60TB drive than a 3B drive. Fortunately on-disk flash caches will enable chunks of data to be read more quickly than that.”

      So while it will take much longer to read an entire drive, most likely you wouldn’t have a full drive to go through. So read speeds should be fairly consistent with where they are now. But if you fill up a drive with 60TB of data, expect to wait when you need to pull something up. However, I expect caches to get much larger to compensate for such large drives. Like as in gigabyte caches, as opposed to the now common 64MB caches. Totally new technology is hard to predict though, so the only way to know for sure is to wait :)

      • Akaitenshi says:

        aren’t they doing that already with the hybrid drives…?
        I think they ought to make these hybrid anyway… since they seem fairly high end and all..

        • CharlieTango says:

          There probably will be high end hybrid models, but I’m sure there are people who are only looking for mass storage options and won’t want to pay the premium that comes with hybrid drive. But then I guess they wouldn’t be concerned with the cache size anyway. There’s only one way to find out. You grab some time crystals, I’ll grab some cocaine and hookers, and we can go to the future.

  2. Etoora says:

    Since hard drive prices are high as oh now, im wondering how much these bad boys are gonna cost

  3. CharlieTango says:

    Just when everybody starts to get complacent and accept that Moore’s Law is running dry, this comes out. Glad to see manufacturers aren’t simply laying down and accepting the limitations of current tech. It’ll be a crazy day when seeing 1PB in a consumer setting isn’t considered insane.

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