West Digital Corp Shows 20TB Mechanical Hard Drive: Still SMR

Compared with all kinds of innovations in SSD, mechanical hard disk technology, especially the capacity progress in recent years, is simply amazing. The two giants, Western Digital (WD) and Seagate, have also invested heavily in solid-state storage. They don’t know whether they are not interested in mechanical storage or can’t do anything about it at all. In September this year, WD announced 18TB and 20TB mechanical hard disks. Now during the Microsoft ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, WD has publicly displayed them for the first time and disclosed more details.

The whole industry has been looking forward to the new mechanical storage architecture for a long time, and manufacturers have also developed and publicized it for a long time, but it is unable to land. Whether Seagate’s HAMR thermal auxiliary magnetic record or WD’s MAMR micro blog auxiliary magnetic record, it has always been PPT.

The latest Ultrastar DC HC550 18TB and HC650 20TB are also not used in these new technologies, the former is the CMR traditional magnetic record, the latter is the SMR stacked magnetic record.


There’s no problem with CMR, but SMR has become a rat in the street. Although its capacity has been improved, its cost is reliability, which has been overturned repeatedly.

It’s hard to imagine a 20TB hard drive hanging up in what level of disaster, especially as these products are still being used in the enterprise-class data center market.

Both drives are in the traditional 3.5-inch format, with a sixth-generation helium-filled technology that integrates up to nine discs, with an average disc capacity of 2TB and 2.2TB. Speed, performance, reliability indicators have not yet been published.

The 18TB, 20TB hard drive will soon have the opportunity to deliver sample testing to customers, and will be mass produced and launched in the first half of next year.


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