Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording Progress

While advances in PMR and SMR techniques will see a steady increase in drive capacity over the next year, HAMR is the next hard disk drive technology which needs to complete development to safeguard the future of hard disk drive manufacturers. The original prediction for the release of HAMR drives was for 2015, but as of 2017 there have no products released, despite the first demonstrations by Western Digital being made in 2013.

The technique uses heat to enable the magnetic field to be focused onto a smaller area, thereby enabling a much higher areal density to be achieved. The predictions for the capacity of the first commercially available drive has steadily increased, with the release date slipping further, currently earmarked for 2018.

The use of HAMR, in conjunction with Helium and the use of multiple layers would see substantial increase in the capacity of drives. This is an important step in hard disk drive development, with ever larger SSD drives being developed, although currently prohibitively expensive for the majority of users.

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