Toshiba will promote new hard disk drive technologies to enhance recording density and meet demand from mega data centers, with the company's 18TB Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) hard disk to part of the plan.
Toshiba, which released the world’s first 14TB nearline 3.5-inch and 26.1mm-height HDDs with 9-disk and helium-sealed technologies, briefly disclosed its HDD roadmap in a presentation during the company's FY2018 Technology Strategy Briefing that was held on November 22, 2018.
MAMR technology boosts the recordidng capacity of a disk using microwave oscillators on magnetic heads. In MAMR, a magnetic write head contains a spin torque oscillator (STO) which generates microwaves. They lower the surface resistance of the underlying recording media and make writing bits easier. MAMR uses 20 - 40GHZ frequencies and the STO bombards a bit area with a circular AC microwave field, lowering its coercivity and enabling the bit value to be written. MAMR could lead to 4Tbit/in2 areal densities, beyond the 700 to 1,000Gbit/in2 used currently, and leading to 40TB drives.
In the past, Toshiba has also discussed the use of different layers of recording media that were “tuned” to respond to different MAMR microwave frequencies, allowing recording only on the layer tuned at a particular time. This gives a sort of 3D recording capability for HDDs, but the approach is still under development.
Seagate has chosen to follow a different patch through the Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology. Proponents of the MAMR approach say HAMR stresses the disk surface and read/write heads rendering the disk unreliable in the long-term. Seagate disputes this and has demonstrated long life HAMR read/write heads.
Western Digital has also chosen MAMR for its future technology.