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Seagate's new 8TB HDDs feature new "shingled" technology

Seagate and Active@ LiveCD

March 3 2015, by LSoft team

Seagate has shown its revolutionary technology called Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR).

This new breakthrough allowed Seagate to increase the maximum capacity of the modern hard disk drives by 25%.

In modern world of technological ventures and achievements, 25% is not something to brag about, especially after a long period of stagnation given the fact how long perpendicular way of data recording lasted; however there are reasons to believe that this might be just a begging of the new way of storing your data.

With SMR, Seagate has managed to create a high-density plate of 1.33 GB. With six plates like these 8TB can be easily achieved, which is far cheaper than making a 8TB HDD out of 8 "ordinary" plates. This does not only cut the production costs, but it also reduces the heat and noise, which is something standard that storage and archive devices aim for.

Present perpendicular recording technology has hit a wall when it comes to writing data since 75 nm is the minimal distance between tracks used to write data in.

Seagate has started looking at the problem from a different perspective. They have managed to find a solution and, as we mentioned earlier, increase the drives capacity without increasing the disk size or form factor.

The tracks are not being put next to each other; they are being overlapped using SMR technology, just like shingles on rooftops creating additional space for data storage.

Seagate Seagate

Although the HDD will be working at 5,900 RPM, this new breakthrough will also enable them to have faster read speed, 150 MB/s.

Since the data will be more clustered and will not require additional rotations. But there is also a tradeoff, write speeds will be considerably lower compared to traditional hard drives due to the complexity of the packing. But given the fact that hard drives have not been about performance ever since SSD's hit the market, HDD manufacturers are now mostly focused on capacity and from that perspective this can indeed be considered as a success.

The new hard drives will be produced various capacities featuring 8TB, 6TB and 5TB models and will feature a three year warranty. HDDs based on this new technology are already available for purchase. Hard drives can be found now on Amazon for around $300.

Seagate's SMR HDDs are also available in Europe their price ranges somewhere between €250- €270.

These are also one of the cheapest (if not the most affordable) hard drives in the world when it comes to price per GB. As it stands now, the cost per GB for Seagate's new SMR hard drives is 3.36 cents, making it an absolute best buy in its category. The next closest are 6TB drives on Amazon and Newegg with a 4.3 cents/GB price tag.