Toshiba is looking to catch up with Western Digital and Seagate in the high-capacity HDD market. Using technologies such as Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), Energy-assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (ePMR), and Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), vendors have been able to push magnetic disk capacities to as much as 20 TB in a relatively compact form factor. The race to ship 30 TB drives has already started, and WD and Seagate are getting a headstart.
Showa Denko, the world’s largest independent disc manufacturer, has confirmed that it has developed a new implementation of MAMR technology called MAS-MAMR (Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording). Toshiba already offers MAMR HDDs with FC-MAMR (Flux Control Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording), but the MAS-MAMR option narrows the bandwidth used on the plate compared to FC-MAMR, allowing more data to be stored per unit disk space.
This requires a suitable read/write head which is provided by TDK. It is speculated that MAS-MAMR will have a capacity of up to 30 TB, and the drives will be introduced in Toshiba’s second-generation MAMR HDDs. The exact time frame for the launch is still not known, but going by industry trends, it’ll happen sometime in 2023.
For the first time, all three HDD vendors are going with different approaches to reach the same conclusion. WD is betting on HAMR, ePMR, and MAMR while Seagate is also relying on PMR and HAMR (Gen 2). Toshiba, on the other hand, is going all-in with MAMR and its various implementations to hit the 30 TB mark by 2023.