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.

5 TB Hard Drives Finally on Their Way in 2013?

Interesting speculation at Tom’s Hardware based on an alleged document leak that Western Digital plans to release a 5 terabyte hard drive by the end of 2013.

If it hadn’t been for the Thailand floods of 2011, a 5TB hard drive would have probably already made it to market. The flooding wiped out a significant portion of hard drive manufacturing plants which led to a decline in the number of hard drives shipped worldwide and a sharp rise in hard drive costs.

Western Digital only recently got around to releasing a consumer level 4TB hard drive, so a 5TB by the end of the year would be most welcome.

Western Digital Launches 2TB Hard Drive

Hard DriveHere’s Western Digital’s press release announcing the launch of their 2TB hard drive,

“While some in the industry wondered if the end consumer would buy a 1 TB drive, already some 10 percent of 3.5-inch hard drive sales are at the 1 TB level or higher, serving demand from video applications and expanding consumer media libraries,” said Mark Geenen, President of Trend Focus. “The 2 TB hard drives will continue to satisfy end user’s insatiable desire to store more data on ever larger hard drives.”

WD Caviar Green is one of the most successful product lines in the company’s recent history with its third-generation GreenPower™ technology, now providing 2 TB of proven reliable storage for today’s high-resolution files and graphics. WD Caviar Green drives are designed for use in USB/FireWire®/eSATA external hard drives, desktop computers, workstations, and desktop RAID environments.

Ah yes . . . insatiable desires . . . for storage. What sort of people could he possibly be talking about? Hmmm.

Suggested retail price is $299. As of today, you can buy a 1TB WD drive on Amazon for $112. Nice.