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40 TB+ hard drives by 2025 thanks to Western Digital's new microwave-assisted writing technology

Western Digital's microwave-assisted magnetic recording process. (Source: Western Digital)
Western Digital's microwave-assisted magnetic recording process. (Source: Western Digital)
Western Digital's new microwave-assisted magnetic recording technology allows for huge increases in data density. Capacities of 40 TB plus should be reached within 8 years.

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Most consumer excitement in the last few years has been around ever-improving solid state drives, rather than the old workhorse, the hard drive. Despite that, hard drives still hold the lead in providing affordable data storage solutions, with capacities up to 14 TB currently available for OEMs or 12 TB for consumers from Western Digital and Seagate.

Western Digital has developed a new technology which they revealed at their “Innovating to Fuel the Next Decade of Big Data” event, known as microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR). Western Digital expects drives using this technology will start appearing in data centers from 2019. MAMR is a competing technology to heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), and it is preferred due to benefits in reliability and cost, despite HAMR having a much cooler name.

MAMR uses a “spin torque oscillator” to create a microwave field, and this is 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, and the technology should allow for improvements passed that point too.

"Western Digital’s demonstration of MAMR technology is a significant breakthrough for the hard disk drive industry,” said John Rydning, research vice president, Hard Disk Drives, IDC. “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.”

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Western Digital press release

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 10 > 40 TB+ hard drives by 2025 thanks to Western Digital's new microwave-assisted writing technology
Craig Ward, 2017-10-13 (Update: 2017-10-13)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.