Seagate this week signed an settlement with Showa Denko in a bid to safe a second supply of platters for its arduous drives based mostly on warmth assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) expertise. Beneath the phrases of the deal, Seagate will consider SDK’s current supplies for HAMR media and the 2 corporations will collectively develop future supplies.
Seagate began to ship its Exos HDDs that includes HAMR inside its Lyve storage programs late final yr. These arduous drives use key elements, equivalent to recording heads with a close to discipline transducer that heats up the media in addition to glass platters with an FePt magnetic layer, developed and made solely in-house. Being a vertically built-in firm, Seagate has sufficient manufacturing capacities to proceed constructing platters for HAMR drives internally, however having a second supply for a crucially essential element makes lots of sense for high-volume merchandise.
Having spent over 10 years on HAMR pathfinding and analysis, Showa Denko formally started to develop its glass platters for HAMR HDDs in February, 2020. Again then, the corporate stated that HAMR would obtain areal density of 5-6 Tb/in2 sooner or later, enabling 3.5-inch arduous drives with eight or 9 platters to retailer 70 TB – 80 TB of knowledge.
By now, Showa Denko has completed improvement of its first HAMR media materials that includes a FePt magnetic alloy and expertise to mass-produce arduous drive platters. Beneath the phrases of the settlement between SDK and Seagate, the arduous drive maker will consider the fabric designed by the Japanese firm. Going ahead, Seagate and SDK will collectively develop new magnetic alloys for HAMR HDDs.
For now, Seagate will proceed utilizing its personal FePt glass media inside its HAMR HDDs, but when it finds Showa Denko’s HAMR media ok, it would use it for future arduous drives.
The contract between Seagate and Showa Denko ensures that the arduous drive maker could have two sources of HAMR platters sooner or later, which will likely be essential if Seagate considerably expands utilization of its HAMR expertise. The truth is, as soon as HAMR media hits sure areal density (i.e., considerably increased than PMR’s 1.14 Tb/inch2), it can make an excellent sense to undertake the expertise nor just for highest-capacity HDDs, but additionally for midrange HDDs to chop down their prices.
“[HAMR] just isn’t solely concerning the highest capability level,” stated David Mosley, CEO of Seagate, at a convention final yr. “If we will save a disk and two heads in a 16 TB drive, we’ll take a look at doing that as properly. So, it’s actually throughout the entire portfolio, which is why we expect that this platform play is so essential. We will introduce HAMR into the identical platform. The fee will increase are actually nominal.”
Moreover, Seagate may even be sure that SDK-made HAMR platters will likely be suitable with its HAMR implementation, which could change into the corporate’s aggressive benefit towards Toshiba and Western Digital as soon as they undertake this expertise.
“We anticipate this alliance will additional speed up technological improvement pioneered by the 2 corporations,” a press release by Showa Denko reads.
For Showa Denko, the world’s largest unbiased maker of HDD platters, you will need to keep shut relationship with all makers of arduous drives. These days the majority of SDK’s shipments are platters designed for PMR and SMR HDDs, however it is usually ramping up manufacturing of media for Toshiba’s MAMR-based drives. The pact with Seagate ensures that Showa Denko may even be part of upcoming HAMR HDDs.
Supply: Showa Denko