Despite the continued decline in shipments of mechanical hard drives (HDDs), the decline in the number of hard drives (HDDs) has been inconsistent across segments, particularly in the corporate market. With this in mind, Toshiba has just announced plans to expand its philippine plant to increase production of its high-end helium-filled/near-line storage product line. The company is confident in the growing demand for its products and has revealed a number of promising products and technologies in its roadmap.
(Image via AnandTech)
The market demand for HDDs is shifting from low to high capacity. Toshiba’s sales mix, which is dominated by its client HDDs, accounts for only about one-third of its enterprise-class product lines.
Although Toshiba accounts for about 36% of global mobile drive shipments, its corporate/near-line storage market accounts for only about 17%. With this in mind, the company wants to make positive changes to grab a larger share.
Toshiba unveiled a new plan at an investor day last month. As of April 1, 2021, the company will increase its structural share of the enterprise/near-line storage product line, proactively transitioning from client to near-line drives.
The goal is to capture more than 20% of the global and near-line storage market while maintaining a share of the client hard disk market at around 25%.
To achieve the new goals, Toshiba needs not only to increase production, but also to ensure competitive pricing and technology positioning. This means that the company needs to continue to invest in the development of leading high-capacity near-line drives for hyperscale data centers, while controlling the price competitiveness of the data center market.
At the same time, Toshiba needs to focus more on customer needs, improve customer support, and more collaboration with data center customers in China.
On the product side, Toshiba has a pretty solid roadmap. Earlier this year, the company confirmed that Ajing uses mixed magnetic recording (SMR) and thermally assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) technology to further increase the density of disc information recording.
Toshiba plans to launch a 20TB mechanical hard drive in 2021, and looking ahead, all advanced drives will be filled with helium.
In addition, the company’s roadmap includes a single drive of 10 discs (currently up to 9), with an estimated 22 TB of storage capacity. It is not known when it will go to the market.