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Stick your hard drive in the microwave

by on16 October 2017

Western Digital’s cunning plan to squeeze more from old tech

Western Digital’s boffins have come up with microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) which can use the company’s existing production chain to cram a lot more storage onto a standard 3.5-inch disk.

The outfit has overcome the write head problem which is the biggest issue with traditional HDD drive storage. An average hard drive maxes out at about 10-14TB. But by integrating “a spin torque oscillator”, a new write head, and microwaves can create the energy levels to copy data within a lower magnetic field than before.

According to Western Digital, MAMR has “the capability to extend areal density gains up to four Terabits per square inch”. 

By the year 2025, it hopes to be packing 40TBs into the same size drive it offers today.

So why not flash? Apparently flash storage can’t keep up with the amount of data being produced, maybe well into the next decade. Consumer products are snapping up all the flash storage so Western Digital needs to come up with ways to use the existing tech.

Last modified on 16 October 2017
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