This microwave-based hard drive will offer 40 terabytes of storage

microwave based hard drive could be a game changer wdlabs

In terms of hard drives, solid-state drives are popular, including with us, because they offer speed and reliability within a smaller package than other hard drives. Those advantages do come with a trade-off when compared to older disc-based drives, namely a lack of storage capacity. SSDs simply can’t store as much information as disc-based drives. Western Digital is one of the companies that has led the way in terms of disc-based drives. BGR reports that the manufacturer recently unveiled a new technology that could help disc-based drives maintain their dominance for years to come.

WD is currently working on the production of microwave-assisted magnetic recording, or MAMR. This new technology promises to be ideal for data centers and other ventures where storage capacity, rather than speed, are the most important factors. By 2025, the company expects to have an MAMR that can store up to 40TB of data. According to Western Digital’s blog, the company believes that MAMR represents the future of data center storage.

“The company recently innovated a breakthrough in material and process that provides the required reliable and predictable performance, as well as the manufacturability to accelerate areal density and cost improvements to an estimated average of 15 percent per year,” the blog reads. “Developments in the other energy-assisted technology, specifically, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), present new material science and reliability challenges that are not a factor in MAMR. Only MAMR demonstrates the reliability and cost profile that meets the demands of data center operators.”

The technology is certainly impressive and, if it works as promised, it will prove popular with data-heavy businesses. That being said, we imagine many consumers will prefer the faster options available from SSDs. Consumer hard drives are fairly affordable right now, so we believe that most people, especially gamers, would rather have a couple of fast hard drives than one large, slow hard drive.

Seagate, another major data storage technology manufacturer, unveiled the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD last year. The device is an external solid-state storage solution built specifically for Microsoft’s Xbox One console. Seagate also offers a portable SSD built for PlayStation 4 and PS3 consoles.