Western Digital Demos World’s First Hard Drive with HAMR Technology

WD Shows Off HDD with Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording Technology

by Anton Shilov
11/13/2013 | 11:03 PM

Western Digital Corp., one of the world’s largest makers of hard disk drives, this week demonstrated the world’s first hard drive with heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology at the International Forum on Advanced Materials and Commercialization. The new recording technology will eventually enable higher-capacity hard disk drives.


“Analysts predict 25 trillion gigabytes of new data will be generated by 2020 and that average household storage needs in the U.S. will require as much as 3.3TB by 2016. This tremendous growth in data requires continued increases in storage capacity and performance for the cloud, big data and consumer technologies. WD is focused on hard drive innovations that will enable future storage capabilities, and HAMR technology is a key step in the migration path,” said William Cain, vice president of technology at WD.

Western Digital did not release a lot of details regarding the actual hard drive featuring a platter based on HAMR technology, but demonstrated a fully-functional notebook PC running the drive, which means that the hard disk drive platform is ready.

HAMR technology may offer a solution for increasing areal density (AD) by magnetically recording data on high-stability media using laser thermal assistance. The technology shrinks data bits in a stable manner by briefly heating the disk surface during magnetic head recording. The method can increase data density by a factor of more than 5 and ultimately results in storage capacities as great as 4 terabits per square inch.

WD is addressing the challenges associated with HAMR technology, including designing media that manages the increasing complexities of concurrently meeting magnetic, thermal and optical requirements; laser light path integration; and head-disk interface reliability and lifetime.