Toshiba is working on mas-mamr HDDs over 30TB

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Toshiba and Showa Denko are working on mas-mamr HDDs. According to the manufacturers, such hard drives should enable storage capacities of more than 30TB. The company has not yet announced when such HDDs will be released.

In a press release, SDK and Toshiba report that the companies have developed a storage medium for mas-mamr HDDs. That stands for microwave assisted switching-microwave assisted magnetic recording. This technique is used to narrow the recording tracks on the platters of HDDs, which increases the density and thus the storage capacity of the disc.

Mas-mamr drives will succeed the current generation of mamr HDDs. That storage technology is already being used in Toshiba’s 18TB MG09 data center HDDs. It is not known how many platters these HDDs will have or what the actual data density of the HDDs should be. Toshiba does report that mas-mamr should eventually be used in HDDs of ‘more than 30TB’. The company is also not reporting when the first of these drives will hit the market. Presumably, the first mas-mamr HDDs will target servers and data centers, as is the case with Toshiba’s current mamr drives.

Currently, perpendicular magnetic recording is still relatively widely used in HDDs, but the limits of this storage technique are in sight. Manufacturers are therefore betting on different successors. In addition to Toshiba, Western Digital is also working on mamr HDDs, although that company currently seems to be focusing more on energy-assisted magnetic recording, or eamr, which should also enable greater data density.

Another option is heat-assisted magnetic recording. Toshiba and SDK indicate that they are also currently working on such hamr HDDs, or heat-assisted magnetic recording. Other manufacturers are also developing such drives. Seagate is the first manufacturer with hamr HDDs and expects to release a 50TB HDD with this storage technology in 2026. It is not known whether Toshiba sees hamr as a successor to mas-mamr HDDs, or as an equivalent alternative.

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