Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

WD Wants to Reduce Heat in the Current Generation of Drives

With hard drive manufacturers racing to come up with the next big innovation in data storage, some have found that one of their biggest roadblocks is overcoming the issue of heat. Modern hard drives all generate some amount of heat. Even some of the latest next-gen solutions, like heat-assisted magnetic recording, or HAMR, are seeing their potential diminish as excess heat presents problems with data integrity and consumer costs.

Magnetic Recording – Without the Heat

Per usual, innovation often springs from technical challenges and roadblocks. Western Digital recently introduced microwave-assisted magnetic recording, or MAMR, as an alternative to the HAMR protocol. Instead of relying on heat, MAMR relies on an oscillator device positioned inside a microwave field. The result is a highly reliable data storage device that produces very little excess heat.

Mark Grace, senior vice president of devices with Western Digital, spoke about their commitment to providing customers with the latest and greatest in technological advancements by saying: “We’ve plotted a course now that was relatively uncertain for the hard drive industry and the data center. We can speak clearly now to the market and clearly to customers about the value proposition for rotating magnetic storage for decades to come.”

Western Digital already has big plans for MAMR technology. Slated for a consumer release in 2019, the earliest models are expected to feature at least 40 TB of storage capacity and 2.5 million hours of reliability – a stark contrast from the limitations posed by HAMR and other storage architectures.
It’s important to note that Western Digital was amongst the earliest supporters of HAMR technology. As the technical details came to light, however, they quickly began development of the MAMR format.

What About SSDs?

All this talk about MAMR has some consumers asking: what about the SSDs? Western Digital is currently one of largest manufacturers of SSDs, and this is expected to continue well into the future. In fact, they recently purchased SanDisk Corp. – for nearly $20 billion – to bolster their solutions in the solid-state market.

While SSDs still have tremendous potential, and Western Digital will continue to support the format, they are challenged by several roadblocks of their own, including steep prices and comparatively limited storage capacities. Nonetheless, consumers now have more choices for data storage than ever.

Dave Tang, senior vice president of corporate marketing and communications with Western Digital, explained how drive manufacturers need to approach the future storage market. He said: “The useful life of data is growing exponentially along with the volume. You have to provide complete environments to capture and access and preserve and transform that data, which means we have to go well beyond storage and think about how that data is accessed.”

Finding Out More

Although it’s still a year or two away from hitting consumer shelves, MAMR is already making headlines around the industry. To find out more information about the technology behind MAMR or any of the latest advancements from Western Digital, please visit their official website at {{|}}.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!