Seagate has started delivering high-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) leveraging Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology to customers, confirmed company CFO Gianluca Romano. The initial shipments boost areal density beyond 30TB, paving the way for 40TB+ drives in 2024.
According to the schedule, Seagate shipped the first batch of 30TB+ HAMR-based systems, codenamed Corvault, in Q2 2023. Romano expects Corvault shipments to gain traction through the end of 2023 as Seagate ramps HAMR volume.
HAMR Drives Push Density Limits
HAMR represents a significant breakthrough allowing Seagate to continue advancing HDD density and capacity. Using laser heating to assist the writing process, HAMR enables packing data more densely on drive platters.
The technology marks a materials science breakthrough, incorporating novel iron-platinum alloy platters rather than traditional cobalt-platinum alloys. Integrated laser diodes precisely heat data points on platters, enabling the recording head to flip magnetic polarity with less magnetic field intensity.
This makes it possible to shrink the size of data bits and thus increase areal density substantially. While existing drives max out around 16TB using conventional magnetic recording, HAMR shortly opens the door to 40TB drives.
Gradual HAMR Adoption Through 2023
Seagate considers its 30TB Corvault systems an initial milestone that proves HAMR drives are ready for volume production. Broader enterprise adoption will accelerate through 2023 as the company ships more HAMR-based HDDs to customers.
Romano noted that Seagate is on track to launch 40TB+ HAMR drives in early 2024. The gradual ramp aligns with the typical systematic qualification cycles for advanced storage technologies penetrating enterprise and cloud data center markets.
With HAMR, Seagate continues pushing the limits of HDD technology to meet growing storage demands worldwide. As data volumes explode across business and consumer segments, ultra-high-capacity HAMR HDDs will play an essential role in global data infrastructure for years.