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.

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