In the consumer drive market, Seagate is likely to use HAMR to lower costs, which should translate into lower prices. For example, in a 2TB laptop drive, there are two platters and four recording heads or read/write heads. In principle, HAMR would increase the areal density to the point where one platter and set of heads could be removed.
"So you would have effectively lowered cost at that capacity point. That's usually how we leverage areal density in the client market," Re said.
Seagate has also been investing heavily in hybrid drives, which use a small amount of NAND flash memory as a caching element along with traditional spinning disk storage. The drives come close to SSD performance at a fraction of the price. Re said HAMR technology will also be used to increase capacity in those drives.
"We could see combinations of all of these technologies as we move out through the next decade," Re said.
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