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Novachips Announces SCALAR-20T 2.5-inch SSD with 20TB Capacity

Novachips Co., Ltd., an innovator in flash storage solutions, today announced that it has started shipping a newcomer in its SCALAR Series of high-capacity SSDs. The new entrant, SCALAR-20T, is a 2.5-inch SATA MLC (Multi-Level Cell) 20 TB SSD that is entirely based on in-house hardware and firmware. SCALAR-20T utilizes Novachips' NVS3800 controller, and no third-party components—including JBOD and RAID component chips—are built into the device.

Since launching the world's first 2.5-inch SATA and NVMe MLC 8 TB in 2015, Novachips has consistently broken new ground in the massive capacity flash storage arena. The standard bus topology interface between SSD controllers and NAND flash memory has proven a limiting factor in flash storage capacity innovation. Novachips has resolved this structural problem by using a unique point-to-point ring topology. This technology has helped Novachips build its most recent, 20 TB capacity SSD, without compromising on performance or reliability from channel noise over its guaranteed lifetime.

Seagate: 20 TB HAMR Drives Arrive in December, 50 TB Capacities in 2026

In its latest earnings call, Seagate, a manufacturer of high-capacity drives, has revealed several interesting points about its upcoming releases of next-generation hard drives. More specifically, the company has disclosed a shift to a new generation of HDDs based on so-called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. This technology is set to bring many improvements compared to the one currently used by Seagate's rivals like Western Digital. The rivaling company uses energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording (ePMR) and microwave-assisted (MAMR) technologies and it already has a 20 TB drive in the offering. Seagate announced that they will unveil a 20 TB HDD in December this year, with the use of HAMR technology, which will bring many improvements like better speed and more efficient disk read/write.

"We remain on track to ship 20-TB HAMR drives starting in December, which is an important milestone, as we believe HAMR technology will be the industry's path to scaling a real density and increasing drive capacities," said Dave Mosley, CEO of Seagate. "Seagate will be the first to ship this crucial technology with a path to deliver 50-TB HAMR drives forecast in 2026."

Western Digital Extends Capacity-Enterprise HDD Technology Leadership into Broad Family of Data Center Solutions Enabling Unmatched TCO

Continuously innovating to help organizations keep pace with rapidly expanding volumes of data, Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it is extending its HDD technology and capacity leadership into its broader portfolio of data center solutions. Leveraging innovations from the Ultrastar 18 TB and 20 TB HDD technology platform, the WD Gold family now features new 16 TB and 18 TB CMR HDD capacities. Also available are an upgraded line of Ultrastar JBOD platforms and an Ultrastar hybrid storage server featuring Ultrastar 16 TB and 18 TB CMR HDDs. Through Western Digital's vertical integration capabilities and broad portfolio, the company continues to be uniquely positioned to help customers meet data demands as they design their storage infrastructures for better efficiency and productivity.

"Western Digital's expanded family of data center HDD solutions clearly addresses a variety of customer needs, which puts them in a unique early position to capitalize on cloud and OEM customer transitions to 18 TB, and even to 20 TB for those optimizing the benefits of SMR," said John Chen, vice president at TRENDFOCUS. "Capacity-enterprise HDDs will continue to dominate the nearline and secondary storage market as there is simply no other cost-effective substitute for data at scale. As a result, we expect nearline disk drive exabytes shipments to grow at a 32.5% CAGR, reaching 1.9 zettabytes by 2024."

Western Digital Samples World's First 20TB SMR and 18TB CMR Hard Drives

Western Digital announced that it has started shipping the industry's highest-capacity HDD samples to enterprise OEMs and hyperscale customers worldwide. The 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs and 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs, first previewed in June 2019, and announced in September 2019, feature its first-ever commercial implementation of energy-assisted magnetic recording technology on a nine-disk platform, enabling customers to more efficiently provision and scale their data center environments with unmatched total cost of ownership.

With zettabyte-scale data growth, the need for higher-capacity data storage across a broad spectrum of applications and workloads can be reliably met only with high Capacity Enterprise HDDs. The industry-leading capacities of Western Digital's Ultrastar 20 TB SMR and 18 TB CMR HelioSeal HDDs enable customers to deploy up to 22 percent fewer racks and reduce their TCO by up to 11 percent, along with the corresponding reductions in power consumption, cooling costs, and data center infrastructure needs when compared with today's 14 TB CMR HDDs.

Seagate's Roadmap Calls for 18 TB, 20 TB Drives in 2020, 50 TB by 2026

Seagate announced its roadmap for the coming years, and the company is naturally fighting tooth and nail for the relevance of HDD technology in the market. While the benefits of SSDs are already well understood by the entire industry, in some scenarios, it makes more sense to make use of high-density HDDs - particularly where deployment space is at a premium, and in scenarios where seek times for information stored on the media aren't all that important. This is why the company is aggressively pushing its new HAMR technology as a way to increase areal density on traditional platter-based media.

Plans to achieve 18 TB and 20 TB density HDDs in the first semester of 2020 seem to be well within reason, considering the company has recently shipped 16 TB HDDs. These HDD solutions will still make use of older technologies such as CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording), for the 18 TB drives) and SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) for their 20 TB 2020 products. The company will later make use of their proprietary HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology in order to upgrade their 20 TB, and 20 TB+ HDDs with higher performance (and density) than can be achieved with the tried and true SMR. When it comes to performance improvements, a latent disadvantage in HDDs compared to solid state solutions, the company will eventually deploy HDDs which make use of two sets of read/write heads instead of a single one.

Western Digital to Deliver 18TB CMR and 20TB SMR HDDs in the First Half of 2020

Addressing the TCO requirements of data center customers, Western Digital announced its nine-disk mechanical platform, which includes energy-assisted recording technology and maintains the company's areal density leadership while delivering the highest capacity available. The company will sample the 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD and the 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD to select customers by the end of 2019 with production ramp expected in the first half of 2020.

This rapid ramp and availability of the 20 TB SMR drive following a technology preview in June 2019, supports a growing ecosystem and the continued industry adoption of SMR. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes shipped will be on SMR by 2023. "At Dropbox, we are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and power in our data centers," said Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox. "We're excited to see SMR drives reach a 20 TB capacity point, which will enable us to power collaboration and deliver long-term value to our customers."
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