Seagate is going all-in on the new HAMR technology for traditional drives and is planning to launch its first 32TB capacity model this year, with a 40TB model to follow in 2024. Yeah, that's a lot of storage.
Seagate views HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) as the next step for high-capacity drives built on magnetic recording technology. It's essentially a refinement of what we've seen for decades with magnetic technology by allowing all data bits to become smaller and more densely packed than ever before. The benefit, of course, comes with remaining magnetically and thermally stable.
How it achieves this is very cool, with the data bits heated and cooled in a nanosecond, so they're not adversely affected by the HAMR laser. Seagate notes that the laser doesn't affect the drive's temperature or reliability. It's expected to be one of the key enterprise hard drive technologies for the next decade, and no doubt personal Plex media server storage too.
And with that, the first commercial release of a 32TB HAMR drive from Seagate is expected in Q3 2023, with 40TB to follow in 2024. Seagate added that it also has a 50TB capacity model already in the testing phase within its labs - though that's slated for 2025. Interestingly, the 32TB model features the same number of disks and heads as the current 20TB HDDs using the older PMR technology.
Even though Seagate is going all in on HAMR, it will still release traditional magnetic drives with 24 TB and 28 TB capacity HDDs based on the older technology set to debut soon.