Seagate has announced their plans to offer 14TB and 16TB HDDs to customers within the next 18 months, with plans to release a 20TB hard drive by 2020.
As of now, Seagate’s highest capacity HDD is 10TB, with the biggest competitor, Western Digital, recently releasing their own 12TB model. Seagate’s CEO, Stephen Luczo has stated that they are testing their own 12TB HDDs, with plans to release a product soon. These new HDDs will use shingled magnetic recording technology as well as use helium inside their drives to improve accuracy and decrease wear.
The Shingled Magnetic Recording technology can be used to increase storage capacity by up to 25% by overlapping newly written magnetic tracks. The SMR technology will increase drive capacity but will also reduce the drives write speeds, making the drive less suitable for the high writing task. Seagate tries to overcome these shortcomings by using a 128MB DRAM Cache buffer and their new Multi-tier Caching system, which gives their new drives higher instantaneous write speeds than traditional SMR HDDs.
In consumer market HDDs have been losing market share to SSDs but for the server market and large consumer and enterprise NAS solutions high capacity HDDS remain vital, and Seagate trying to be the front runner on this market by generating $2.9 billion in revenue over the last fiscal quarter.