Hitachi kicks open Door 4 in the House of Spinning Platters
Enter the Microwave Magnetic Dragon
Where do we go from here?
Seen from El Reg MMR would seem to be a possible replacement for Shingled Writes. That technology has a disadvantage in that, when existing data is rewritten, multiple tracks have to be rewritten, because tracks overlap; this takes time, slowing the write process and obviously affecting hard drive performance.
MMR would appear to have no need to overlap tracks and thus not affect write I/O timing.
There is no information about the general expense of developing MMR technology, and no mention of any recording media restructuring to ensure that bits retain their state, without being susceptible to random temperature fluctuations or the influence of neighbouring bits.
It would seem logical that, just as with HAMR, a reformulated recording medium will be needed to ensure bit stability at the areal density levels mentioned.
It might also be possible that MMR could be used as an alternative to HAMR as well, taking us straight to BPM but this is more guesswork on my part, so treat it as such.
We don't know if the ASTC - the hard disk drive industry's Advanced Storage Technology Consortium, chartered to find a common HDD industry and supply chain technology roadmap - is considering MMR. It would be very odd if it were not, especially since Hitachi GST is a founding member.
The MMR research was carried out under the auspices of NEDO's Development of Nanobit Technology for Ultra-high Density Magnetic Recording (Green IT Project). Apparently Hitachi GST and the Data Systems Storage Center (DSSC) at Carnegie Mellon University are jointly working on MMR technology. ®