Feeds

Seagate pushes HAMR as next big thing

Killer tech may arrive in 2015

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Seagate is bigging up HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) as the replacement to take us beyond the disk capacity limits of current PMR technology.

PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) involves the magnetisation of tiny bits of magnetic material, made up of grains, oriented vertically in the recording medium. As the size of these needle-like structures decreases so too does their ability to resist magnetism changes from temperature fluctuations and neighbouring PMR "needles".

Two ways have been suggested to get around this. One is bit-patterned media (BPM) recording, which involves putting an insulating doughnut-like ring around bits laid out in a precise and very hard to produce pattern. The other is to use a recording medium in which the tiny bits have to be heated in order to have their magnetic direction changed - this is called HAMR.

Both HAMR and BPM use will involve substantial and costly development and changes to production machinery. Shingle writing (using partially overlapping tracks to increase track density) is being proposed by suppliers such as Hitachi GST as a kind of temporary fix to extend the life of PMR by increasing capacity by 10-50 per cent.

As reported in ConceivablyTech, Seagate's recording media operations VP, Mark Re, thinks PMR can get areal density to 1Tbit/in2, and we'll reach that in the 2013-2015 period.

Some current drives, such as Toshiba's 750GB, 5400rpm, 2.5-inch MK7559GSXP and Seagate's 750GB, 7200rpm Momentus, are at 541Gbit/in2 and a jump to generally available 600Gbit/in2 class drives is surely coming soon. We appear to have two or three more PMR generations ahead of us before the 1Tbit/in2 limit is reached.

Re thinks HAMR could take areal density up to 50Tbit/in2. A HAMR/BPM combination could then conceivably take areal density to even higher levels. He says that HAMR drives will use an iron-platinum alloy and standard read/write heads, not the optical technology that Seagate acquired with Quinta in 1998. Seagate has made prototype HAMR drives but these are not capable of being productised yet.

It looks as if Seagate is currently betting its disk drive farm on HAMR and not BPM. It may bring in shingle writing as an interim PMR boost but, because of its write speed limitations, this may not apply to enterprise drives. Adding more platters might be the route chosen to increase enterprise drive capacity until HAMR becomes a viable production method.

Bootnote: Seagate trumpeted its HAMR intentions back in August, 2002. It said then HAMR could achieve 50Tbit/in2. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.