A performance versus capacity war is brewing within the hard drive business with Seagate leading on disk, - WD on flash hybrids - HGST on products.
Seagate offered shingling as a means of boosting the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology now's drives use.
Now's Seagate drives shop bits and bytes within the 500 to 625Gbit/in2 place. Theoretically, there is scope for Seagate to construct a sixthgeneration PMR variety of products with 700 to 800Gbit/in2 areal densities; but does it?
Obviously, SMR and HAMR items will overlap, with, we assume, SMR drives used for low-random-writerate programs and HAMR used for high-writerate applications, and flash hybrid drives used for highread-rate software when inexpensive capability is required compared to SSDs.
It really is possible we'll finally see flash-hybrid SMR drives and flash-hybrid HAMRs available on the market from Seagate, even though the technology giant did not mention these kinds as future products; sense indicates they might exist.
The presentation covered several potential drives along with SMR and HAMR systems, with hybridisation playing a leading part in Seagate's forthcoming disk drive line up; heliumfilled drives were absent. This really is exactly what was covered:
Desktop hybrid drive
This drive was disclosed by El Reg in March. The spin pace may be 5,400rpm.
Business Turbo SSHD
Seagate bills this as the planet's fastest hard drive and it's a 2.5inch formfactor hybrid drive spinning at 10,000rpm with up-to 600GB capacity. Read some history here.
Business Turbo SSHD
Seagate Business Turbo SSHD
We realize a 15,000rpm model will come after.
Business Turbo SSHD SPC-1C IOPS standard
In addition, we believe it is legitimate to suppose that Seagate's NAS drive is going to be hybridised ultimately too. To put it differently, Seagate will hybridise all its disc products at some period.
We were informed that self-pinning of data has been assessed by Seagate. With this a person can simply choose which bytes to keep in flash, instead of relying on an automated control or applications. It'll likely have more NAND than a which auto-chooses its data to enter the flash cache. The thought was in comparison to Intel's Smart Cache.
Shiver my shingles
With shingling, consecutive write tracks overlap the tracks, successfully narrowing them, however the head, that is narrower than the head, can still read all these individual tracks.
When data must be rewritten an issue comes: the head is comparatively broad and the next track area will be overlaid by its new track area, therefore deleting it. Therefore the disc system must examine the about - to - be - write the new data, save that data, overlaid monitor region and then, crucially, write the data in its place.
Nevertheless this second act of composing overlays another track. Seagate won't say just how many tracks there are in a group. It will explain the spaces between groups are squandered, in the sense they may be utilized to record data.
In today's PMR storage technology there are spaces between each monitor, and shingling attempts to utilize as much of the area as practicable for data record, perfect for sequential writing albeit at the cost of random write speed.
As an approach, shingling, may be employed to HAMR drives and also to PMR. There is no advice provided about when SMR drives may be launched. El Reg was informed we have prototype SMR drives and they're being assessed as potential products. It's our belief the successor to Seagate's Terascale drive uses SMR technologies.
A we've experienced, PMR provides around 1Tbit/in2 whereas HAMR could increase to 5Tbit/in2.
HAMR gets around now's PMR drives' high areal density issue of temperature changeinduced bitflipping with another record medium with a higher coercivity value - meaning random temperature changes do not reverse the bits. That makes creating data more challenging along with before the data is created, after that the bit area cools and its binary state remains constant; consequently the name HeatAssisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR the bit area must be briefly warmed by means of a laser pulse).
When the technology functions, hGST drives will attain a capacity increase with helium. The business can place more platters in the 3.5inch, or 2.5inch, enclosure full of helium, rather than ordinary atmosphere, so packaging more info inside.
Let us say this works. Then HGST could consider present record technologies, stick more platters and tracks in a heliumfilled situation, and obtain a 1.5X increase in drive capacity.
HGST can perform a heliumfilled SMR drive to keep its capacity edge, if Seagate then creates an SMR drive to raise capacity. One perspective of the scenario is the fact that Seagate is racing forward with HAMR to obtain its areal density boosted so that its drive capacities can raise sufficient to compete successfully with HGST's heliumfilled drives. Seagate will also harshly hybridise its drives to give a read functionality advantage to them over its opponents.
Unless HGST can introduce HAMR drives within exactly the same timeframe as Seagate it seems like its helium-established capability improve edge may be partially or completely nullified by Seagate's early launch of HAMR.
Once HGST has HAMR engineering nailed, heliumfilled HAMRs would reinstate HGST's ability edge. We consider that it's highly likely Seagate has investigators considering heliumfilled drives to determine whether the technologies, which it previously declined, could become element of its own drive armory and provide it a means of clawing back HGST's looming competitive edge.