Hard drive makers have talked about releasing 14TB, 16TB, and even 20TB in the not too distant future, but what Western Digital is cooking will blow them all away. WD claims it is position to deliver a 40TB capacity HDD by 2025 using microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR).
"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," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital.
MAMR is one of two energy-assisted technologies that WD has been developing for the past several years, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) being the other. The breakthrough in MAMR technology that WD is all excited about pertains to the "spin torque oscillator" that is used to generate a microwave field that increases the ability to reliably record data at ultra-high density. Using this technology, WD says it can record over 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time.
"With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that time frame," WD said.
WD just recently released the industry's first 14TB HDD, through its HGST subsidiary. Earlier this year, Seagate said it would have 14TB and 16TB HDDs in 18 months, and a 20TB HDD by 2020. And just a few weeks ago, Toshiba bragged about having 14TB HDDs very soon, after having announced an 8TB model this past August, current its largest single-drive offering.
Like all of those drives, WD's 40TB model will be filled with helium. Initially WD will target enterprise customers, but higher capacity solutions always have a way of trickling into the consumer space.