Western Digital has laid out its plans in the magnetic memory segment over the next five years. David Goeckeler and Bob Eulau, the CEO and CFO of Western Digital, were interviewed by Wells Fargo, and they divulged much information regarding the company’s roadmap. For starters, 30 TB HHDs are expected to become available by 2023, thanks to the use of ePMR and SMR technologies.
These drives will come with thinner plates, allowing for an increased number of platters per drive. Combined with high data densities, this will pave the way for 30 TB drives in the near future. Western Digital’s existing flagship HDDs, the WD Gold, and Ultrastar DC HC560, both top out at 20 TB. These drives use nine 2.2 TB platters, in tandem with Energy-assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (ePMR). 22 TB drives can be made possible by adding another platter and utilizing OptiNAND technology.
The use of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) is also needed to increase capacity for consumers who have a software stack that optimizes and supports it. SMR and ePMR are together expected the per plate density by 36%, allowing for 30 TB 3.5″ drives. The use of HAMR along with existing technologies will pave the way for 40 TB, and as much as 60 TB offerings by 2026.