Seagate: Using Two Actuators in HDDs Reduces Production Time

According to Seagate, the use of two actuators with read and write heads for hard drives shortens the testing process of HDDs, making them faster to manufacture. Seagate calls the technology MACH.2 and expects to release 30TB HDDs in 2023.

Seagate expects the shorter testing times for the MACH.2 drives to bring production cost benefits, chief marketing officer Jeff Fochtman said during a company presentation. The Register writes about his statements. MACH.2 is the name of Seagate’s technology for integrating two actuators that can move independently of each other into hard drives. This leads to significant speed gains, including with random I/O workloads, so that testing the disk can also run faster.

According to Fochtman, the use of two actuators should become the standard for HDDs of 30TB and more, aimed at data centers. From that moment of large-scale production, the advantages for shorter testing would come into play. Those MACH.2 HDDs of 30TB or more should be available by 2023, Seagate expects, followed by 40 and 60TB successors in 2024 and 2026, respectively.

Seagate has been working on the technology for years and has been slowly supplying MACH.2 HDDs to a small group of enterprise users for testing purposes since 2019. As of this year, the company considers MACH.2 drives to be production-ready and enterprise customers can purchase it.

According to the company, a Seagate Exos 2X14 HDD with MACH.2, which is a 14TB 7200rpm HDD, achieves 524MB/s throughput and 304 IOPS random read and 384 IOPS random write. The random read and write performance combined with high storage capacity is particularly interesting for data centers.