Seagate HAMR, or ” head assisted magnetic recording ” is Seagate technology that allows us to put our faith in fast hard drives again. What’s more, the brand’s new thing is the fastest hard drive in the world that not only has nothing to envy to a conventional SSD, but is more resistant and secure than an HDD that we can have at home.

The HAMR technology is not new, since people started talking about it in 2014 and just over a year announced the capacity of the first model, but was now when they have shared specifics about the speed you can achieve this magnetic hard disk (or HDD). The roadmap seems to be being fulfilled and, now, Seagate allows us to know a little more in depth its HAMR hard drives, the fastest hard drives in the world.

The operation of a hard disk HDD, to simplify it a lot, consists of a bearing that rotates some plates and an “arm” that reads and writes data on said magnetic plates. This technology seems to have reached the commercial ceiling with 7,200 revolutions per minute discs, which are still used in computers as backup discs thanks to their large storage capacity and, above all, their low price. For gaming computers, they are quite suitable.

However, with the arrival of SSDs, a much faster storage medium, it seems that the technology has been focused on investigating how to make SSDs faster and faster (and of greater capacity. Seagate, however, has continued to research HDDs and has achieved that, instead of a single arm, there are two that read and write data at the same time.

Each of the arms can read and write independently, as well as transfer that data separately. This will sound familiar to anyone using raid setups, but it’s impressive for a magnetic hard drive. The density has increased, allowing for greater storage capacity and the speed is more than twice that of a traditional HDD, approaching that of an SSD.

To give you an idea, the data transfer speed is about 235 MB / s on a 7,200 rpm disk. With Seagate’s new HAMR hard drives, it goes up to 480MB / s. They are 60% faster and, in addition, resistant. 

According to Seagate testing, these drives, dubbed MACH.2, have a life expectancy 20 times that of traditional HDDs. Of course, it remains to see them in the market, since Seagate’s plan continues to be to launch 20 TB HAMR hard drives in 2020, 30 TB between 2021 and 2022 and 40 TB, as planned, in 2023. We will see if, by then, it is still a novel technology and SSDs have not dropped in price to make them more attractive than these new fast hard drives.

How a Seagate Hamr hard drive works

How a Seagate Hamr hard drive works

On your computer’s hard drive there is only one large, circular, shiny plate of magnetic material called a tray or platter, divided into billions of tiny areas. Each of these areas is capable of being independently magnetized (to store a 1) or demagnetization (to store a 0). Magnetism is used in computer storage because it continues to store information even when the PC is turned off.

If you magnetize a nail, it stays magnetized until you demagnetize it. In the same way, the information (or data) stored on your PC’s hard drive will remain there even when you turn off the PC.

The dishes are the most essential parts of a hard drive. As the name implies, these are discs made of a hard material such as glass or aluminum, covered with a thin layer of metal that can be magnetized or demagnetized.

A minor hard drive classically has only one platter, but each side has a magnetic coating. Larger drives have a series of stacked discs (plates) on a central axis, with a small gap between them. The disks rotate with up to 10,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) so that the read / write heads are able to access any part of them.

In HDD hard drives there are two read-write heads, one that is in charge of reading the upper surface and another that is in charge of the lower surface, so a hard drive that has five platters (for example) would need ten separate read / write heads.

The read / write heads are attached to an electrically controlled arm that moves from the center of the unit to the outer edge and vice versa. To reduce wear, they don’t actually touch the platter – there is a layer of liquid or air between the head and the platter surface. Magnetic storage devices and media store data in the form of tiny magnetized dots. 

There are two types of hard drives, those that are sealed with air (it is the most normal) and those that are sealed with Helium. What benefits does this type of hard drives with Helio offer us? This element has a lower density (weighs less) than air, making the friction of the dishes less, and at the same time that your dishes heat up less. 

Read and write data

The most important thing about memory is not being able to store information, but being able to find it later. Imagine that you store a magnetized bit in a stack of 1.6 million identical bits and you will have some idea how much trouble your PC would have if it did not use a very methodical way of archiving its information.

When your computer stores data on your hard drive, it not only dumps magnetized bits onto a tray, but it also mixes them up. The data is stored in a very orderly pattern in each of the trays that make up the hard drive.

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