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Up and to the Right – 20+TB and Beyond

Tracking the nearline HDD capacity curve is quite simple – it is up and to the right. The first helium-based HDD at 6TB* was announced in late 2013, and since then, nearline HDD capacity has nearly tripled. Toshiba recently showcased a partial product roadmap in which the company outlined the timing of several future generation nearline HDDs to keep up with the insatiable storage demand of the cloud companies, and the curve is simply “up and to the right.”


* Source: Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation IR Strategy Presentation November 14, 2019
** 16TB Source: Source: Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation, as of January 8, 2019. 14TB Source: Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation, as of December 8, 2017 for 9 platter CMR Enterprise HDD .

Toshiba was the first company to introduce a 14TB CMR HDD AND a 9-disk design, but the company did not rest on its laurels. Toshiba followed up with a 16TB design, matching the highest capacity, drives mass-produced in the industry. Additionally, Toshiba is actively looking into adopting future technologies such as SMR (shingled magnetic recording), EAMR (energy assisted magnetic recording), and higher (10) disk design to increase storage capacity. Just within three years, Toshiba has more than doubled its nearline market share and has grown to be a competitive player in the nearline market, and with the slate of future products on the immediate roadmap, this “up and to the right” momentum should continue to 20+TB and beyond.


Capacity: Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.

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