Western Digital To Create 40 Terabyte Hard Drives

Western Digital says the company has new proprietary microwave technology that it claims will allow it to create 40 terabyte 3.5-inch spinning disk hard drives (HDDs) by the year 2025. Currently, the capacity of hard drives maxes out about 14 terabytes.

MAMR uses a “spin torque oscillator” to create a microwave field, which is the key to reliable ultra-high-density writing. Western Digital is confident that the increased density it allows will mean that they can produce 40 TB+ hard drives by 2025.

MAMR uses a “spin torque oscillator” to create a microwave field, which is the key to reliable ultra-high-density writing. Western Digital is confident that the increased density it allows will mean that they can produce 40 TB+ hard drives by 2025.

Western Digital said the breakthrough involves Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording Technology, or MAMR. The technology is built into a new type of drive head that is able to pack more bits of data onto the same size disk by generating "a microwave field."

Once this technology is fully developed, WD expects it to allow drives to pack up to four terabits of data per square inch of disk, leading to hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that timeframe. The first drives should appear on the market in 2019, the company said.

“As the volume, velocity, variety, value and longevity of both Big Data and Fast Data grow, a new generation of storage technologies are needed to not only support ever-expanding capacities, but ultimately help our customers analyze and garner insights into our increasingly connected universe of data,” said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital.

“Our ground-breaking advancement in MAMR technology will enable Western Digital to address the future of high capacity storage by redefining the density potential of HDDs and introduce a new class of highly reliable, ‘ultra-high capacity’ drives. We have a proven track record for identifying, investing in and delivering advanced technologies that create new product categories and enable the world to realize the possibilities of data.”

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