Western Digital Announces Plans to Build Future Hard Drives with Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR)

AnandTech.com has an interesting look at Western Digital’s recent announcement that it will be moving forward with production of mechanical hard drives using microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR).

Essentially what MAMR does is add a device to the write head of the hard drive to generate microwaves. The microwaves make it easier to write to smaller areas of the hard drive, allowing for capacity increases on the platter.

In its press release hype over the technology, Western Digital claims that MAMR will allow it to increase hard drive sizes to eventually reach a 40TB 3.5″ hard drive by 2025.

VeraCrypt

With the demise of TrueCrypt and the abandonment of DiskCryptor, VeraCrypt is the best remaining free, open source disk encryption solution. It is a fork of TrueCrypt project that made a number of changes designed to address limitations of TrueCrypt.

I’ve been gradually migrating all of my encrypted hard drives over to VeraCrypt and have been very pleased with its performance and ease-of-use.

Pro Storage 18 Review

Back in June, I blogged about the Pro Storage 18, a foam hard drive storage system that was designed to be stored in a standard file box or a file drawer.

Getting one of these proved more difficult than I thought–the first seller I ordered one from on Amazon basically lied about having these in stock. Then, by chance, I was looking at Amazon a few weeks ago and Amazon itself was selling them. This was apparently a fluke, because now I notice the product is being listed as being available only from third party sellers at a 35%+ markup. It’s weird how hard this thing is to find.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the foam storage unit in my office drawer at work where it currently holds 16 hard drives. A few of these are older 2tb hard drives, so that’s roughly 50tb of hard drives there, nicely protected by foam.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by the quality and the usefulness of the Pro Storage 18. Obviously this is an extremely niche product, but if you have a lot of hard drives that need to be stored safely nearby for quick use, this is pretty much the way to go IMO.

Hard Drives

Intel/Micron to Release a 10tb SSD?

Intel SSDBack in early 2015, Intel and Micron suggested that work they were doing could result in a 10tb 2.5 inch SSD. Now that Micron is apparently beginning to manufacture its new 3D flash chips, that 10tb SSD might not be too far off.

Want to make the switch to SSDs but feel they don’t offer enough storage space? Then you might want to hold off making any purchases for a while because Intel, in partnership with Micron, is reportedly getting ready to unveil SSDs with 10TB of storage capacity.

Right now the largest SSD that Intel offers has 4TB of storage.

The increase in capacity is made possible by Micron’s 3D NAND flash, which it is now able to produce in volume. Samsung and Toshiba already make use of 3D NAND flash technology in their SSDs, but neither have hit the 10TB mark.

If you can’t wait for that, Fixstars sells a 13TB SSD, though it will set you back around $13,000.

100TB 3.5″ Hard Drives by 2025?

Interesting look by Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates on the future of magnetic media. The Advanced Storage Technology Consortium recently released an updated roadmap that estimates areal density on hard drives will increase roughly 10-fold by 2025 — if that actually happens, that would allow for 100TB hard drives in 2025.

Seagate and other manufacturers have already announced plans for 10TB hard drives in 2015 with plans for 20-30TB hard drives by 2020.

To go to 100TB, however, will require deploying new technologies like Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording “in which a small laser is used to heat the part of the disk that is being written to.”

Faster, please.