Toshiba has announced the world’s first demonstration of Microwave Assisted Switching-Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAS-MAMR), a next-generation magnetic recording technology that helps improve the density of magnetic media beyond existing solutions. MAS-MAMR offers significant storage capacity gains, and Toshiba plans to mass-produce HDDs with capacities of over 30TB earlier than expected (by 2025).
Unlike rivals WD and Seagate who are relying on HAMR, Toshiba is placing all its bets on MAMR, most notably MA-MAMR. In 2021, the company started shipping 18 TB HDDs that leverage Flux Control MAMR (FC-MAMR), using spin torque oscillators to assist recording. MAS-MAMR is expected to improve the recording density beyond that of FC-MAMR by locally exposing microwave to-recording media.
To implement its MAMR technology, Toshiba has developed a “bi-oscillation type spin torque oscillator device (dual FGL STO)” that produces microwaves using a two-layer field generating layer. The microwaves generated by the “dual FGL STO” are denser, and therefore more effective for recording data.
By combining MAS-MAMR with dual FGL STOs and recording heads, the recording performance has been improved by a massive 6dB. This technology forms the core of Toshiba’s 30 TB+ roadmap which can now be executed by as soon as 2025.
Toshiba plans to ship high-capacity HDDs with capacities exceeding 30TB with MAS-MAMR technology. The company will continue to work on other MAMR technologies, most notably FC-MAMR and Thermal Assisted Magnetic Recording (TAMR) to expand the capacity of nearline HDDs and meet a wide range of storage needs.