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Toshiba’s future plans involve 26 TB HDDs this year & 40 TB+ Beyond 2025

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Toshiba announced this week the company's bold outlook for the following five years in respect to their hard disk drive lines. The company anticipates a higher increase in its HDDs utilizing nearline applications. Toshiba plans to embrace next-gen recording technology while expanding the number of platters for each new HDD. Their first new venture is to reveal a 26 T.B. drive before the fiscal end of 2022. By 2027, the company will introduce HDDs with capacities of 40+ T.B.

Toshiba plans for upwards of 40 T.B. and above HDD by 2027 to help dominate the HDD section of the market.

Toshiba has a few options that the company could have chosen to improve the capacity levels of their hard drives. The first option is to use platters with higher areal recording density. A second option is to install more platters into an HDD. Currently, Toshiba offers an 18TB HDD that offers nine aluminum platters using flux-control microwave-assisted magnetic recording technology or FC-MAMR.

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Most drive manufacturers incorporate both methods into the manufacturing of HDDs.
Toshiba's next undertaking will reveal the 20TB HDD that depends on FC-MAMR disks and efficiently utilizes as many as ten disks to increase capacity. This step for the company will place them in a competitive circle with other manufacturers of high-capacity HDDs, such as Western Digital and Seagate.

Bringing the 20TB HDD by Toshiba will be crucial because it will allow the company to experiment with their 10-platter helium-filled platform. Tom's Hardware notes that this particular technology is not by any means a breakthrough in the technology. However, this venture will allow Toshiba to rapidly-produce higher-capacity HDDs faster than before.

Beginning March of 2023, the company will launch their 10-platter 26TB HDD, changing from helium-filled to microwave-assisted switching MAMR technology, also called MAS-MAMR, facilitating platters created by Showa Denko K.K. and heads manufactured by TDK. The next step for Toshiba to reveal in March 2025 will be an 11-platter 30 T.B. drive.

However, starting storage capacities from 30 T.B. to 35 T.B., Toshiba views proceeding to heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology that the company predicts to promote long-term development for HDDs. The company comments that HAMR technology will enable the company to produce hard drives with higher than 40 T.B. capacities in the next five years.

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MAS-MAMR will demand Toshiba to design new platters with newer magnetic layers and incorporate new read/write heads. Furthermore, HAMR will need Toshiba to create and evolve to another batch of essential components, requiring partnering technologies to reach their goals. Toshiba will continue to use MAS-MAMR in the future after it adopts HAMR into its drives. The company will do this since utilizing several technological concepts can provide more considerable risks. Instead, they will try to play it safe, sticking to prior technology while promoting next-gen ideas.

Toshiba continues to work closely with the cloud companies to understand their exact capacity and performance requirements, and the ability to utilize our next-generation technologies will be key to meeting our customers’ needs. Many years of close collaboration work with our key component suppliers is leading to impactful technology breakthroughs to achieve higher capacities, which ultimately reduces TCO (total cost of ownership) of our nearline HDDs.

— Raghu Gururangan, Vice President of Engineering & Product Marketing, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.

It is unknown whether Toshiba will design consumer-level versions of the MAS-MAMR or HAMR technologies since they focus on nearline applications with enterprises.

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