Secures Second Supply for HAMR Platters

Seagate this week signed an settlement with Showa Denko in a bid to safe a second supply of platters for its onerous drives primarily based on warmth assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) know-how. Underneath 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 techniques late final 12 months. These onerous drives use key parts, reminiscent of 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 completely 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 necessary 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 mentioned that HAMR would obtain areal density of 5-6 Tb/in2 sooner or later, enabling 3.5-inch onerous drives with eight or 9 platters to retailer 70 TB – 80 TB of knowledge. 

By now, Showa Denko has completed growth of its first HAMR media materials that includes a FePt magnetic alloy and know-how to mass-produce onerous drive platters. Underneath the phrases of the settlement between SDK and Seagate, the onerous 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’d use it for future onerous drives.

The contract between Seagate and Showa Denko ensures that the onerous drive maker can have two sources of HAMR platters sooner or later, which shall be necessary if Seagate considerably expands utilization of its HAMR know-how. Actually, as soon as HAMR media hits sure areal density (i.e., considerably greater than PMR’s 1.14 Tb/inch2), it is going to make a terrific sense to undertake the know-how nor just for highest-capacity HDDs, but additionally for midrange HDDs to chop down their prices.

“[HAMR] shouldn’t be solely in regards to the highest capability level,” mentioned David Mosley, CEO of Seagate, at a convention final 12 months. “If we are able to save a disk and two heads in a 16 TB drive, we are going to take a look at doing that as effectively. So, it’s actually throughout the entire portfolio, which is why we predict that this platform play is so necessary. We are able to introduce HAMR into the identical platform. The fee will increase are actually nominal.”

Moreover, Seagate may also be sure that SDK-made HAMR platters shall be suitable with its HAMR implementation, which could grow to be the corporate’s aggressive benefit in opposition to Toshiba and Western Digital as soon as they undertake this know-how.

“We count on this alliance will additional speed up technological growth pioneered by the 2 corporations,” a press release by Showa Denko reads.

For Showa Denko, the world’s largest impartial maker of HDD platters, you will need to keep shut relationship with all makers of onerous 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 also be part of upcoming HAMR HDDs.

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Supply: Showa Denko

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