Western Digital says 50TB HDDs are close to being a reality

Western Digital this week introduced its new 22TB and 26TB capacity hard drives, which use Magnetic Recording (CMR) and so-called Ultra SMR technology, respectively. He also shared details about his future roadmap, assuring that 50TB HDDs are close to becoming a reality.

According to the company, OptiNAND technology and the second-generation ePMR (Power Assisted Magnetic Recording) recording model unlock unprecedented levels of data capacity, performance and resiliency by allowing the manufacture of 50 TB hard drives.

Are 50TB hard drives almost a reality?

Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the HDD Business at Western Digital, commented, “I’m not going to go into too much detail about our storage drives that we’re building in partnership with some consumers. They will not be publicly available as they are differentiated and specialized products for some large clients, but You can see from our plans that we are very close to delivering drives with 50TB capacity.”

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No detailed information about the alleged 50TB hard drives was revealed during the event. Also, as Ashley commented, there is a possibility that the 50TB HDDs will not be released directly to the market, since they would be developing for specific clients.

Despite the fact that Western Digital comments that the OptiNAND and ePMR technologies, with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), will be responsible for reaching 50 TB of storage, there are still doubts about whether the HD will store such amount of data. The company did not say if the form factor will be kept or if some new data compression model will also be applied.

It will also be interesting to know how these hard drives will respond to high workloads and if they will exhibit some of the write/read slowdown issues that the SMR models have.

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