Seagate has just announced it has shipped over one million shingled magnetic recording (SMR) hard disk drives (HDDs). The company strongly believes SMR is the next generation storage technology that will enable 20TB HDDs to be a reality by 2020.
According to Seagate, by 2014, SMR technology will enable the company to deliver 5TB HDDs. This new storage technology has enabled the company to get around the physical limitations of current HDDs. Essentially, SMR works by squeezing the data tracks of the HDD's platter closer together, by removing the guard space that exists between data tracks of conventional magnetic recording HDDs.
As noted by AnandTech, SMR is beneficial if the drive is void of data; however, due to the manner in which data is overwritten in SMR, overlapping data tracks need to be written in the process. This will lead to performance degradation that has been allegedly observed by StorageReview. In order to overcome this issue, SMR technology features banding of tracks so that it can "better manage these rewrites."
According to Seagate’s chief technology officer (CTO) Mark Se, the company is on target to increase the platter density of 3.5-inch HDDs from 1TB to 1.25TB. This may also allow the introduction of 6TB HDDs in the near future. For the official press release from Seagate, please click here. More information on the company's SMR technology can be read here.