While storage news, in general, is often more focused on flash and other non-volatile storage media, hard drives are still doing well, said Mike Cordano, Western Digital president and chief operating offer, during an event introducing the MAMR technology. "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".
WD unveiled new storageware that ostensibly enables ultra-high capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) to meet the future high-scale demands of big data.
To ensure that the cost difference between the two keeps hard drives competitive over time with flash storage in big data or other large-capacity requirements, the hard drive industry needs to find a good replacement for the current PMR, or perpendicular magnetic recording, technology which is starting to reach its limits in terms of capacity and data "writability", Collins said.
"At the heart of the company's innovation breakthrough is the "spin torque oscillator" used to generate a microwave field that increases the ability to record data at ultra-high density without sacrificing reliability", the company claimed. Moreover, its fabrication relies on technologies and processes that Western Digital has already invested in, including Damascene recording head technology, enabling the company to start rolling out MAMR hard drives to the industry by 2019.
A key factor of MAMR, Western Digital claims, is that it doesn't suffer from reliability and material science challenges which abruptly halted HAMR's areal density expansion plans.
"If we look at MAMR and talk about what are the attirbutes and benfits to a data center manager". The company's head manufacturing operations are the only internal supplier to utilize Damascene processing to manufacture heads with the precise tolerances and complex structures required for reliable and cost-effective recording at ultra-high densities. "Commercialization of MAMR technology will pave the way to higher recording densities, and lower cost per terabyte hard disk drives for enterprise datacenters, video surveillance systems, and consumer NAS products". The combination of these technologies deliver superior total cost of ownership (TCO) across all sizes of cloud and enterprise data centers. At an event in San Jose, California, the company demonstrated microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR), a technology that should enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond that by 2025.
Western Digital's main focus going forward will be on MAMR technology, Collins said.