Western Digital: HDD roadmap up to 32 TB with ePMR 2

Western Digital has roughly outlined the roadmap for the next increases in storage capacity up to 32 TB, but without naming dates. The next form of Energy-Assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording aka ePMR 2 was also addressed.

A roadmap without deadlines

The roadmap timeline has no data, so it is only a rough guide and reflects expectations. After the new models with 22 TB and a conventional recording method (Conventional Magnetic Recording, CMR) and 26 TB with the help of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) with overlapping data tracks, Western Digital is planning steady increases of a further 2 TB each. The next tiers are 24TB with CMR and 28TB with SMR. This is followed by 26 TB with CMR and 30 TB with SMR.

Western Digital: HDD “Roadmap” May 2022
Western Digital: HDD “Roadmap” May 2022

The roadmap from 2020, on the other hand, was much more specific, but could now be outdated.

Roadmap from January 2020
Roadmap from January 2020 (Image: Western Digital)

MAMR could be behind ePMR 2

In addition to a further increase in the number of magnetic disks, an increase in the areal density can be expected due to more tracks per inch (tracks per inch, TPI). A new form of Energy-Assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (ePMR) is to be used here, which Western Digital is now calling ePMR 2. The figure and its description indicate: A spin-torque oscillator (STO) is used.

Western Digital: ePMR 2

Western Digital: ePMR 2

Western Digital: ePMR

Western Digital: ePMR

In a question and answer session in front of media representatives, to which ComputerBase was also invited, Western Digital did not want to explicitly confirm that Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) was involved. Western Digital was even the first manufacturer to hold the prospect of MAMR, but surprisingly postponed the introduction of the technology and instead presented its first version of ePMR.

Toshiba, on the other hand, has already placed the first MAMR hard drives on the market, but they only reach up to 18 TB; 20 TB coming soon. Only the second generation should achieve up to 30 TB with improved MAMR technology (MAS-MAMR instead of FC-MAMR).

It remains to be seen what exactly is behind Western Digital’s ePMR 2 and when the technology will be introduced. The older roadmap had forecast a change from ePMR to MAMR or HAMR for 2023 at the earliest.

Updated 05/10/2022 10:54 p.m

#Western #Digital #HDD #roadmap #ePMR

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