Toshiba has announced they will begin commercializing HDDs based on Showa Denko K.K.’s (SDK) 9th generation perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platter technology. This latest technology brings about improved storage areal densities in both the 2.5″ and 3.5″ platters, increasing storage capacities without having to resort to Shingled Magnetic Recording 8SMR), which typically reduces performance. The increased areal density of the new generation technology enables 1 TB 2.5″ platters and up to 1.8 TB 3.5″ platters, opening the door for PMR HDDs with up to 14 TB capacity sometime in 2018.
The first Toshiba drive to make use of this technology is aimed at ultra-portable laptops that require lots of storage space: the MQ04ABF Series features 5,400 RPM spindle speeds, 1TB of data storage capacity in an ultra-compact 2.5-inch 7.0 mm height form factor. This news is particularly interesting for enterprise-class solutions, however. Today’s top-of-the-range enterprise-class 3.5″ HDDs can store up to 12 TB of data (14 TB solutions have to make use of SMR). These 12 TB HDDs are based on 8x 8th generation PMR platters featuring ~1.5 TB capacities. With the arrival of the 9th gen PMR platters in 2018, hard drive makers will be able to increase capacities of 8x platter models to 14 TB, while designs with 7x platters can go up to 12 TB.