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Data Storage Hardware Technology

60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016 293

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-lot-of-cat-pictures dept.
CWmike writes "The maximum areal densities of hard disk drives are expected to more than double by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. Hard drive company Seagate has also predicted a doubling of drive density, and now IHS iSuppli is confirming what the vendor community already knew. Leading the way for greater disk density will be technologies such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006. Seagate has already said it will be able to produce a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016. Laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB in the same time frame, IHS iSuppli stated. It said areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch in 2011. Areal density equals bit density, or bits of information per inch of a track, multiplied by tracks per inch on a drive platter. This year, hard drive areal densities are estimated to reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year."
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60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016

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  • by mlts (1038732) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @05:47PM (#40080963)

    One thing we have had issues with is that even now, the issue with drives is how fast we can get data in and out of it.

    Even the high end SAN makers know this and tell people to always use RAID 6 on the backend, just because the window of time that it takes to rebuild a drive is so long these days that it can easily allow for a second drive failure to happen with no protection.

    What I really will dread seeing is an external 60TB drive that is stuck with a USB 3 interface as its only I/O. USB 3 (for lowest denominator compatibility), a SATA descendant, and Thunderbolt, would be ideal, but with how cheap some drives end up, it might just be a sole USB port for in/out.

  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:3, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @06:13PM (#40081273) Journal

    No, you'e thinking too linearly. The density increases in two dimensions, so the capacity increases by the square of the density (approximately). You would need just shy of a 4x increase in capacity without increasing the number of platters. If you can find a way to decrease the spacing between platters, you could get a 15x capacity increase with an even smaller density increase.

  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by atrain728 (1835698) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @06:18PM (#40081313)
    The numbers the summary cites are Gbits per square inch. Meaning it's already been squared.
  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @07:10PM (#40081775) Homepage Journal
    The "60TB" is actually an "up to" number.

    HAMR has a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch, enough to enable 30TB to 60TB 3.5-inch drives and 10TB to 20TB for 2.5-inch drives

    From previous article about this tech from Seagate [computerworld.com].

    In reality do not be surprised to see 10TB and maybe 20TB 3.5 inch desktop drives in this timframe, but I for one WOULD BE surprised to see 40TB let alone the "in theory" 60TB.

    Having said that, I'd be extremely happy with a 10TB desktop drive.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @07:11PM (#40081789) Homepage

    At least with Dell PERC controllers, the likelihood of UREs these days have been mitigated with the use of background patrol reading which proactively checks the disk in idle periods or low priority disk access. UREs are also detected and corrected on the fly while accessing data.

    You might want to check the documentation as to what features your RAID controller supports. If it supports background patrol reading, most likely it's enabled by default. If not, I suggest upgrading the controller if possible.

  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jsm300 (669719) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @07:29PM (#40081893)
    No, the article is quoting aureal density which is expressed in gigabits or terabits per square inch. The problem with the article is that it is combining data from various sources and misreading/misinterpreting the data (so what's new, this is Slashdot after all).

    First, the summary above says that Seagate will produce a 60 Tb drive by 2016. That is not true. Seagate has said they will produce a drive with "up to" 60 Tb of capacity (30-60 TB) by the end of the decade. This is based on the theoretical limits of HAMR technology, which are projected to be in the 5-10 Tbits/sq. inch. range. Current 4TB drives are made with platters that have a density of around 650 Gbits/sq. in., so the math works (10Tb/.65Tb is approximately 15x).

    The other part of the article is talking about what the maximum density is likely to be over the timeframe from now to 2016 using PMR technology and transitioning to something new like HAMR. PMR technology will top out at about 1Tbit/sq. inch, so anything over that will require something new like HAMR. that underlying article quotes 1.8 Tbit/sq. in in 2016, which may not be out of line with 5-10 Tbit/sq. in. by 2020 as a new technology like HAMR comes online.

    The two articles that I am basing the above on are:
    Seagate/HAMR article [computerworld.com]
    IHS/ISuppli article [isuppli.com]

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