Western Data (WD) has been promoting its microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) technology for many years. But it’s puzzling that the upcoming 18 and 20 TB versions don’t really use the technology. Clearly, the company is still considering when to introduce the technology they deem appropriate. In addition to MAMR, thermally assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and even energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) techniques may also be considered.
(Image via AnandTech)
Energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) technology is widely believed to be promising to increase the capacity and face density of near-line storage drives. But there are still differing views on when the technology will be introduced by manufacturers of mechanical hard drives.
Seagate, for example, believes that laser (HAMR) thermally assisted magnetic records are better at this stage, while Western Data (WD) is confident that microwaves (MAMR) will be used for better resilience in the foreseeable future.
In the long run, however, at least two large plants agree that HAMR can lead to higher disk surface density. It is reported that Western Has invested a lot of research and development funds in various EAMR technologies, and found that the transition to HAMR was very difficult.
Not only does it require new head and platter types to be introduced, but MAMR can only use some of its techniques when working. Even so, The Western Number achieved one of the expectations — an increase in surface density.
In fact, the company’s Ultrastar HC550 series HDDs (and 20 TB drives) will be the first to use this Type OfMR technology, now known as energy-enhanced vertical magnetic recording (EPMR).
Western digital means that EPMR is particularly easy to integrate into HDD, especially without the need for spin torque oscillators, which is a key factor in the company’s MAMR technology.
Although EPMR slightly changed the roadmap for Western Numbers, the company did not change its development philosophy. Various magnetic recording technologies currently under study will be put into use as soon as a certain capacity is reached.
The company said it was considering selecting 24 TB and 30 TB versions of hdD drives. Earlier this month, Siva Sivaram, President of Western Digital Technology and Strategy, said at the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Summit at Wells Fargo:
The 18 TB product, to be launched in December, will use a derivative version of MAMR technology, and it is not yet known whether it will be successful in the long term.
But by the time we reach 24 TB and 30 TB, we’ll be involved in the right technology in due course, and the roadmap already indicates the path to the 50 TB version.