Seagate has become the first hard drive vendor to start shipping 22 TB HDDs to “select customers”. These HDDs are based on SMR (shingled magnetic recording) which allows for high-density platters optimal for hyperscalers. Seagate CEO Dave Mosley confirmed this during a recent conference call with industry analysts.
Seagate’s 22 TB HDDs are based on the same hardware as the Exos X20 20 TB drives (from last month). The primary upgrade comes in the form of SMR which increases the areal density by 1248 Gbit/inch^2, roughly pushing the capacity up by 10%. There’s a catch though. Only certain clients are getting access to these prototypes, primarily hyperscalers with specialized stacks.
Our strategy also provides manufacturing flexibility and improves our overall cost efficiencies across the breadth of our common platform family, which currently spans 16TB through 20TB capacities for CMR products, with some customers stretching to 22TB using SMR feature sets.
Seagate’s 22 TB drives (if made available to the public) should start hitting retail by the end of the year or early next. The vendor plans on launching 100 TB drives by 2025.