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Samsung unveils 16TB HDD

While 14TB HDDs are already released to the public, Seagate
has risen the bar a little more. Internal test units of HAMR
drives have broken the magical 16TB barrier meaning that
larger HDDs for datacenters may soon become available.

While WD is experimenting with MAMR (Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording) and also trying to reach new heights in storage capacity, Seagate is using HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) to achieve these gigantic capacities.

Both techniques are following the same physical condition to write Bytes to the disc surface, namely heat. While Seagate is using a tiny-focused laser to achieve the goal, WD is trying to achieve the same with properly-timed surface-heating using tiny microwave emitters.

Both techniques sound interesting and revolutionize HDD technology. Both manufacturers plan to release first units in 2019.

The fact that datacenters require massive amounts of data capacity makes it necessary for HDD specialists like HGST and Seagate to deliver the most actual technology.

While 14TB disks are priced around 550 US$, you may experience a boost here. Prices tend to reach 700 US$ per unit.

For those asking why SSD won’t be scaled this big: The answer is simple: SSD disks are priced way too high for just data storage. SSDs are made for quick data browsing and delivery. The downside of SSDs is that their longevity won’t reach the longevity of magnetic disks by far. the MTBF of a HDD is defined mostly by it’s mechanical and electric parts. The data stord on the magnetic surface will stay for 10 years and longer nowadays. And the plus side for HDD is that the writing cycles practically aren’t limited while an SSD with this capacity using QLC will cease functioning after 1000 cycles and if you use SLC, then a 16TB SSD wil reach a 5-digit price easily!

So while a lot of people think, SSD is the future, you will see the truth here and HDDs still have their right to exist. They offer massive capacities at a reasonable price. You don’t believe? Okay, let’s assume, the 14TB HDD is available for, say, 520 US$. An SSD with 4TB capacity using QLC still costs 750 USD.

So offering about one third of the capacity of the 14TB HDD, the SSD is more expensive at a 18 cents/GB ratio. The HDD however delivers capacity for 3 cents per GB resulting in a massive 84% advantage over the SSD here.

Downside of a HDD over a SSD is in fact the reduced resistance against physical shocks. As soon as these drives get jolted abruptly during a write process, data loss might be the reason or even worse: the header might crash onto the magnetic disc leaving a scratch and rendering a lot of GB useless within milliseconds!

Below is an illustration how the write process is supposed to work:

(video is courtesy of Seagate Inc.)



December 3, 2018 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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