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Seagate Ships 8TB High-Capacity Spinning-Rust Hard disk

Seagate Technology  had shipped the first samples of hard disk drives (HDDs) with 8TB capacity to its customers. The company did not reveal any peculiarities regarding the product or the name of its clients.

Although Luczo's comment suggested a shift to 8TB and 10TB drives as early as this financial year, he later clarified that quantities of the parts would be limited. 'As you get to the 6 and the 8 and the 10TB drives, the lead time on those drives is going to be pretty significant whether or not that’s wafer-related or whether or not that’s test related' Luczo explained. 'So you are not going to kind of be able to call up and say "by the way I need an extra 500,000 8TBs I forgot to order," because they are just not going to be there and the industry can’t respond that quickly

Seagate's hard drives could reach capacities of 10TB this year, thanks to the company's investment in heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology.

Seagate did not disclose any details regarding the drive, but there are not a lot of ways to build an HDD of such huge capacity nowadays:
  • Increase the amount of platters per disc. Seagate could follow its rival HGST with sealed hard disk drives. It is possible to fill a drive with a gas that is less dense than the air (e.g., Helium, like in the case of HGST’s Ultrastar He6) and then squeeze seven (or even eight Seagate it manages to develop all-new magnetic recording heads) current-generation enterprise-class 3.5” platters of enhanced capacity (1TB – 1.1TB). Such approach greatly works for server-class drives, but it is clearly too expensive for consumer-oriented HDDs.
  • Increase areal density of platters. Seagate could install six enterprise-class platters featuring shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology into a non-sealed drive. SMR helps to increase areal density of HDD platters by 25 per cent compared to current-gen platters featuring perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology. While SMR is not yet widely used even for consumer hard drives, it is possible that the technology progresses so successfully that Seagate already has samples of enterprise-class SMR platters. Hard drives with five or six platters are usually designed for servers.
  • Significantly increase areal density of platters. Seagate could ship prototypes of drives based on platters that feature HAMR [heat-assisted magnetic recording] technology. Back in 2012 TDK demonstrated 2TB HAMR platters for 3.5” HDDs, so Seagate could use them to test-drive HAMR hard drives with its PC and server customers.
It is unknown which method Seagate chose for its 8TB hard disk drive.

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