Recently, Seagate has released a detailed technology roadmap for the future, which is planned to reach about 50tb by 2026 and more than 120tb by 2030.
In recent years, mechanical hard disk is generally based on PMR (vertical storage technology), but even after various optimization and strengthening, it has approached the limit. New storage technology and mechanical structure are imminent.
For example, Seagate’s HAMR (thermally assisted magnetic recording), which has been researched and developed for nearly 20 years, has finally blossomed and landed. At the end of last year, Seagate delivered 20tb of HAMR hard disk. At the same time, the new multi actuator structure has also been basically mature. The combination of the two can make the capacity of mechanical hard disk reach a new level, and it depends on them to reach 50tb in 2026.
Similar to the future semiconductor process, in order to achieve further breakthroughs, new storage media and materials are essential.
Seagate also has a long-term plan for this. First of all, the so-called “granular media” can make the storage density reach 4-6tb per square inch, and the 3.5-inch hard disk can achieve about 90tb.
Next is the evolution version of ordered granular media. The storage density is further increased to 5-7tb per square inch, and the 3.5-inch hard disk can continue to expand to about 105tb.
What is more distant is “bit patterned”. The storage density will exceed 8tb per square inch, and the capacity of 120tb or more depends on it.
This target is planned to be implemented in 2030, and by that time, the single disk capacity will reach 10TB, which is only a little more than 2TB at present.
But even so, 120tb also needs up to 12 discs, and the current limit is 9. Obviously, there is a need to make a breakthrough in hard disk packaging technology.
Seagate does not agree that SSD will completely replace mechanical hard disk. Instead, Seagate thinks that both of them have their own values and strengths. They will continue to evolve and complement each other.
Mechanical hard disk still has its own outstanding advantages in the future, especially in TCO total cost of ownership. For example, in large cloud data centers, 90% of the capacity is mechanical hard disk.