Seagate drops a 16-TB HAMR on the test bench

Stop, it's HAMR time! (Come on guys, it's a slow day.) Remember the fancy heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) tech drive makers keep talking up? Seagate says it now has fully armed and operational 16-TB Exos HAMR 3.5" drives in the testing phase, apparently beating Western Digital and its MAMR drives to the punch.

Here's some background on HAMR. Since lasers always make everything better, a while back the hard drive maker decided to combine one with a magnetic hard drive head. The laser heats up the section of platter underneath it, making it easier for the magnetic head to record a bit. In turn, this enables higher areal density compared to conventional recording technologies. The company further notes that the HAMR heads' reliability exceeds "industry standards."

Artist's representation of the tech in question. Unfortunately.

Seagate says the 16-TB HAMR drives are now under a battery of benchmark and integration tests, like checking whether they respond appropriately to controller commands. The maker notes that prospective customers won't have to do anything special to use HAMR drives—they'll function just like any regular old 3.5" spinner.

The company believes it's on track to offer drives packing a whole 20 TB in 2020. The best HAMR puns in the comments will earn facepalms from the staff.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 11 months ago

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJWJE0x7T4Q[/url<] 80's are back

    • BorgOvermind
    • 11 months ago

    That does not mean much.

    It’s the normal evolution of HDD capacity and the HAMR tech in inferior to MAMR from a durability perspective.

    So I’d rather wait a little more than RMA my HDDs every few months. Seagate increased in quality in the last few years, they should not of hurried this up just for marketing.

    Also, I doubt that the head exceeds “industry standards” because lasers don’t last as long as other components, not the powerful enough ones anyway.

    It would be interesting to see what laser tech is actually involved. Hope to find a whitepaper on that part soon.

      • Waco
      • 11 months ago

      You’ve decided that MAMR is better than HAMR without any real information on either. Cute.

      Both are interesting ways to accomplish the same goal. Neither have a huge advantage or disadvantage at this point, and the reliability of either is yet to be seen (but I’ve heard great things on both fronts).

      • Spunjji
      • 11 months ago

      The lasers here really aren’t required to be tremendously powerful – around 200mv IIRC.

    • itaniwha
    • 11 months ago

    Aussie cricketers for the Sledge….

    • GTVic
    • 11 months ago

    [i<]The maker notes that prospective customers won't have to do anything special to use HAMR drives—they'll function just like any regular old 3.5" spinner.[/i<] Thank goodness, I was worried I would have to buy my own laser.

    • ronch
    • 12 months ago

    How is Seagate in terms of reliability these days? I got a Seagate 3TB internal desktop drive last June to replace my aging Hitachi 1TB and so far so good. I hope it lasts 5 years or more.

      • just brew it!
      • 12 months ago

      I think reliability is on par with everyone else these days. I will not soon forgive them for allowing SMR to infect even their moderate capacity “Barracuda Compute” drives though. Those things are an abomination.

    • Krogoth
    • 12 months ago

    This is how you format a HAMR drive.

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwLg4tYvg0k[/url<]

      • ronch
      • 12 months ago

      Really.

    • ronch
    • 12 months ago

    Exos kinda sounds like exhaust to me. Not very confidence-inspiring to see a new drive that’s exhausted already. 😛

    • gerryg
    • 12 months ago

    By Grabthar’s HAMR, floppies will be avenged! [url<]https://www.google.com/search?q=hammer+of+grabthar[/url<]

    • Mr Bill
    • 12 months ago

    I’m Curie-ous, if the HAMR laser is heating the domains to 450C, to allow writing; it must exceed the Curie Point of the magnetic material. So this really is a modified Magneto Optical design. Using the laser to erase, Writing with one magnetic head But reading with another magnetic head rather than by laser via Kerr Effect (reflectivity changes). If this magnetic coating is significantly more refractory than standard hard drive coatings; this might be a more durable medium.

    • albundy
    • 12 months ago

    There can be only one…hamr!

    [url<]https://youtu.be/6Uy7wovOWMs?t=27[/url<]

    • Redocbew
    • 12 months ago

    [quote<]apparently beating Western Digital and its MAMR drives to the punch.[/quote<] So these will be Seagate's new Golden HAMR?

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 12 months ago

      [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJag19WoAe0<]Silver HAMR[/url<]

        • just brew it!
        • 12 months ago

        Bang! Bang! Seagate’s silver HAMR
        Shone down from on their heads
        Bang! Bang! Seagate’s silver HAMR
        Made sure WD was dead

      • psuedonymous
      • 11 months ago

      If their goal in an early release was to beat WD to the punch, would this be a HAMR MAMR JAMR?

    • K-L-Waster
    • 12 months ago

    You know you have a naming problem when there isn’t a single comment about the actual tech…

      • Voldenuit
      • 12 months ago

      You say problem, I say opportunity.

      • Redocbew
      • 12 months ago

      When you have a HAMR everything looks like a pun.

        • Mr Bill
        • 11 months ago

        or a nail

      • qmacpoint
      • 12 months ago

      The Exos link has these items that describe the actual technology:
      [url<]https://blog.seagate.com/craftsman-ship/hamr-milestone-seagate-achieves-16tb-capacity-on-internal-hamr-test-units/[/url<] [url<]https://blog.seagate.com/craftsman-ship/hamr-next-leap-forward-now/[/url<]

    • Voldenuit
    • 12 months ago

    Seagate better sell these as Hammerheads (cf Barracuda).

    Come to think of it, did they name their drives Barracudas to imply they’d eat Caviars for breakfast?

      • bowman
      • 12 months ago

      The logo could even be a hammerhead shark with a frickin’ laser beam on its head.

    • Waco
    • 12 months ago

    I like how the artists rendering shows a head that is flying a few million times higher over the platter than they do in reality.

    Plus, they aren’t green. 🙂

    • krazyredboy
    • 12 months ago

    Now, all the Pr0n on my drive can really get HAMR’d!

    • Blytz
    • 12 months ago

    HAMR is the new HODL

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 months ago

    Actual video of the read/write heads moving across the platter: [url<]https://i.imgur.com/2PdqbPR.gif[/url<]

    • emvath79
    • 12 months ago

    If these things turn out to be super reliable, will they be too legit to quit?

      • jihadjoe
      • 11 months ago

      With James Brown conjuring fire and shit?

      • ronch
      • 11 months ago

      Even if they quit I’ll be cool as ice.

    • Dposcorp
    • 12 months ago

    [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxWTDcP9Y5E<]If i had a Hamr...[/url<] or [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivzLvv9Ahu8<]Here comes the Hamr...[/url<]

    • BurntMyBacon
    • 12 months ago

    Toshiba: Put the HAMR down.

    Western Digital: Um, yeah, no! Bad call! He loves his HAMR!

    Seagate: You want me to put the HAMR down?

    [Releases Exos series drives]

    Toshiba: Are we done here?

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 12 months ago

    Are you sure that’s not a Covenant warship during the glassing of Reach?

    • Mr Bill
    • 12 months ago

    Okay, here’s the plan. We get the HAMRhead and then hold the world ransom for… 1 MILLION bits density!

    Number Two: [clears throat] Sir, strictly speaking, a million bits will not go very far these days. Western Digital alone makes over 9 billion bits densities in a single drive.

    Dr. Evil: Really? Okay then… we hold the world ransom for 1… hundred… BILLION bits densities!

    • Mr Bill
    • 12 months ago

    The bits are still being read magnetically and not by [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerr_effect<]Kerr Effect[/url<]?

    • Goty
    • 12 months ago

    [quote<]The company further notes that the HAMR heads' reliability exceeds "industry standards."[/quote<] Given that the survivability of the substrate was one of the key concerns of HAMR, I'm really interested to see how these things do in the wild. C'mon, Backblaze!

    • Krogoth
    • 12 months ago

    Any bets on how long until headers crash a.k.a “HDD drops the HAMR?”

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo[/url<]

      • K-L-Waster
      • 12 months ago

      Have your upvote and get outta here…

      • Mr Bill
      • 12 months ago

      WOW version…

      [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iy32I60Tgc<]U Can't Touch This![/url<] [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB81YuKPi8M<]Its Hammer Time![/url<]

        • Dark Pulse
        • 12 months ago

        How did you miss [url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Please_Hammer,_Don’t_Hurt_’Em<]"Please HAMR, Don't Hurt 'Em?"[/url<]

        • jihadjoe
        • 12 months ago

        lol surprisingly relevant, especially when “Can’t touch this” is obviously referring to the platter.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 12 months ago

      You’re just waiting for the [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oSz8Xip_ho<]HAMR to Fall[/url<]?

        • Sigma0004
        • 11 months ago

        Since you just Rocked Us with that pun…let’s Inception this silliness with some power metal…
        [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU6eMxeltk[/url<]

      • albundy
      • 12 months ago

      I get the HAM part, but whats with the R? now there’s two things that can go wrong.

    • End User
    • 12 months ago

    Sweet Christmas!

    • chuckula
    • 12 months ago

    Hard drives with friggin’ laser beams.

      • Mr Bill
      • 12 months ago

      They’re mutated Seagate’s.

        • Blytz
        • 12 months ago

        Better than mutated camels

          • Mr Bill
          • 12 months ago

          Dr. Evil: You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?
          Number Two: Seagate’s.

          Dr. Evil: [pause] Right.

          Number Two: They’re mutated Seagate’s.

          Dr. Evil: Are they ill tempered?

          Number Two: Absolutely.

          Dr. Evil: Oh well, that’s a start.

            • ozzuneoj
            • 12 months ago

            Sorry, the unnecessary apostrophes in “Seagate’s” ruined it for me…

            • Mr Bill
            • 12 months ago

            I make no apostrophes for my poor grammar. Intended possessive, but maybe not funny.

    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 12 months ago

    HAMR head sharks with frickin’ laser beams!

      • blastdoor
      • 11 months ago

      My cycloptic colleague tells me that isn’t possible

    • Mr Bill
    • 12 months ago

    Magneto-Optical Lite?

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 12 months ago

    One hopes that this isn’t like Kathy Bates’ hammer in [i<]Misery[/i<]. Please tell us that the laser cures Seagate’s shingles infection.

      • Chrispy_
      • 12 months ago

      One can hope, but I believe you get shingles from too much HAMRing.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 12 months ago

      Data isn’t Seagate’s biggest fan

        • Blytz
        • 12 months ago

        You’re saying it prefers Lore ?

    • Neutronbeam
    • 12 months ago

    Phfffft! All the gerbils here prefer HAMSTER drives–they’re cuter, cheaper and much more reliable than Seagate’s warez.

      • just brew it!
      • 12 months ago

      Dunno about that… aside from the ill-fated and class-action-lawsuit-inducing 3TB desktop drives from a few years back, I think most Seagate drives live longer than a typical hamster. And the TCO advantage isn’t as big as you might expect once you factor in food and bedding.

        • Spunjji
        • 11 months ago

        Bonus points for this starting out looking like a legit comment

      • Mr Bill
      • 11 months ago

      Phfffft! [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgSO51lt8pg<]All The Single Gerbils[/url<]? Shoulda put a ring on it.

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