Analysis Stifel MD Aaron Rakers went on a Seagate booth tour at SC16 and notes Seagate thinks it is a year ahead of WD and Toshiba with HAMR (Heat-assisted magnetic recording) technology.
It is targeting 2018 for HAMR drive deliveries, with a 16TB 3.5-inch drive planned, featuring 8 platters and 16 heads. We assume it will be helium-filled.
Steve Luczo’s company reckons it can get HAMR drives down to a sub $0.02/GB price area and compete effectively with QLC (4 bits/cell) flash built on 3D NAND process, at $0.09/GB or more.
Presently SAS SSDs come in at $0.55/GB or more while 3D TLC (3 bits/cell) flash is $0.20/GB to $0.30/GB.
Seagate thinks NVMe flash drive adoption won’t really take off until PCIe gen 4.0, which doubles gen 3 PCIe speed, arrives, possibly in 2017/8. ®