Seagate ships over one million drives using SMR technology

Seagate Technology has shipped over one million drives using shingled magnetic recording (SMR), the company said recently.

SMR is the next generation in storage technology critical for continued improvement in areal density (the amount of data that can be stored on a single disk) to support global growth in cloud and mobile usage.

The SMR generation of storage technology is expected to power gains of up to 25 percent. With nearly 7 billion inhabitants on earth we are creating an astounding 2.7 Zettabytes of data a year, creating limitations for physical storage.

Mark Re, Seagate’s chief technology officer, says, “With SMR technology, Seagate is on track to improve areal density by up to 25 percent or 1.25TB per disk, delivering hard drives with the lowest cost per gigabyte and reaching capacities of 5TB and beyond.”

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SMR technology brings fundamental change to the architecture of media storage. It rearranges the way data is stored on a disk by overlapping tracks— similar to shingles on a roof— thereby, increasing track density and improving aerial density.

As a result of increased track density the amount of data on a single disk increases as does the overall storage capacity of a single drive.

The HDD industry is experiencing Petabyte shipment growth rates greater than 30 percent per year while at the same time HDD areal density is improving at a rate less than 20 percent per year, said John Rydning, IDC’s research vice president, for hard disk drives.

Shingled magnetic recording technology leverages existing drive architecture to help close the gap in these growth rates while at the same time providing a relatively simple yet economical path to higher capacity HDDs for many applications, Rydning added.

SMR can improve reliability by allowing Seagate to use fewer heads and disks to achieve new capacity points. SMR also increases storage capacity while utilizing the same disk and heads as drive configurations shipping today thereby, providing a more cost-effective approach to increasing aerial density, Seagate said.

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