Mozaic 3+ hard drives incorporate trailblazing implementation of HAMR technology: Seagate

In Mozaic 3+ hard drives, media alloy uses a iron-platinum superlattice structure, which significantly increases magnetic coercivity of disk media.

Pradeep Chakraborty
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Mozaic 3+ hard drives from Seagate.

Seagate has been a pioneer in hard drives. Recently, it released the Mozaic 3+ hard drive with Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology.


Ed Gage, VP, Seagate Research Group, Seagate Technology, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview: 

DQ: How does Seagate’s Mozaic 3+ hard drive platform leverage the potential of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology in significantly increasing data storage capacities and efficiencies?

Ed Gage: Mozaic 3+ platform incorporates Seagate’s unique implementation of HAMR. Seagate has developed HAMR as a part of the most complex nanoscale recording technologies to create Mozaic 3+ platform. 


To understand how these different technologies work together, we need to look at how hard drive capacity works. To increase a drive capacity, you need to fit more data bits onto each disk platter, which means you increase the density of bits crammed into each square inch of surface space. More bits on a disk means more data can be stored.  Each bit needs to have many grains to provide the required signal quality.

The challenge here is that smaller grains with current media materials are more unstable. Legacy alloys do not provide sufficient magnetic stability for effective and reliable storage. The legacy materials data grains are susceptible to switching due to temperature and are crammed so close at nanoscale that the magnetism of each grain can affect the magnetic direction of the grains near it. 

In Mozaic 3+ hard drives, the media alloy uses a pioneering iron-platinum superlattice structure, which significantly increases the magnetic coercivity of disk media so the grains will not influence each other and will be thermally stable. This allows for precise data writing and unprecedented bit stability. 


This poses another challenge: how do you force a very stable bit to change its magnetic direction so you can write new data onto it? Since the media are made magnetically “harder” to prevent instability, the design requires a revolutionary writer— the plasmonic writer. 

A marvel of miniaturization and precision engineering, it is Seagate’s unique implementation of HAMR. Anchoring this technology is a nanophotonic laser, which produces an infinitesimal heat spot on the media surface to reliably write the data.

As a breakthrough collection of nanoscale technologies, Mozaic 3+ hard drive platform provides a scalable, cost-efficient, and sustainable solution for mass data storage. Seagate's decades-long efforts to perfecting HAMR has ushered in a new era of data storage, enabling mass-capacity storage gains at unprecedented areal densities of 3TB per disk and beyond. 


DQ: What are the implications of the escalating datasphere in India on storage capacity, especially considering projections indicating the global datasphere are expected to reach 291ZB in 2027? 

Ed Gage: As data continues to explode in the wake of AI productization, this surge in data necessitates significant innovation in storage technology and is likely to outstrip manufactured storage capacity by 15 times. Upgrading the data storage infrastructure is the logical answer to the challenges of scale, total cost ownership (TCO), and sustainability. 

Enterprise data centres will need to find sustainable ways to scale against limited space, power, and budget. The areal density innovation in hard drive technology progression is the answer to the ever-expanding cloud ecosystem. It is how data center operators are enabled to scale their infrastructure to store more exabytes, while placing less demand on the earth’s natural resources. 


Not only does it foster economies of scale, but increasing capacity stored per disk fuels the rapid growth of India's digital economy, projected at an impressive 20% over the next five years. This will lead to strategic investments and innovation within the Indian datasphere, aiding the country to make significant strides towards becoming a digital economy by 2026. 

For the leading Indian companies, they can harness the cloud for specific AI workloads while maintaining critical data on-premises. The utilisation of hard drives' mass-capacity storage is indispensable for seamless and continuous AI model training, fueling innovation and driving business success.

This is crucial to staying competitive in the global datasphere and fortifying India's position as a frontrunner in the global digital economy.


DQ: How can Mozaic help with TCO savings while supporting with sustainable storage architecture?


Ed Gage: The Mozaic 3+ hard drive platform significantly contributes to TCO savings and supports a sustainable storage architecture in several ways. The key to optimising data management is to optimise the TCO. 

Offering a dramatic increase in storage capacities and a significant improvement in reducing our customers’ cost structures, Mozaic 3+ hard drives contribute to increased energy efficiency in data centres. The platform contributes a 40% decrease in power consumption per terabyte and a 55% reduction in embodied carbon per terabyte, when comparing a 30TB Mozaic drive compared to a16TB conventional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) drives. 

As a result, data centres can achieve a higher capacity with the same number of hard disks, leading to greater TCO efficiency and a reduction in storage-related costs.


Our areal density leadership in Mozaic – measured by terabyte per disk – improves storage TCO dramatically with lower acquisition and operation costs, while delivering on sustainability goals with lower power consumption, fewer natural resources, and use of recycled materials. 

DQ: How does it stand up to MAS-MAMR?

Ed Gage: The unique implementation of HAMR technology, combined with the most complex nanoscale recording technologies and material science breakthroughs, makes HAMR the only recording technology capable of achieving the unprecedented 3TB per platter and beyond. In other words, far more data can be stored on each platter with greater reliability and performance. 

DQ: What is Seagate's endeavour in this technology? What is Seagate doing with HAMR technology? 

Ed Gage: We are experiencing strong demand from data centre customers that are expected to complete qualification of Mozaic 3+ and move into volume ramp. A leading cloud service provider is focused on shifting most Seagate-provided drives to Mozaic 3+, reflecting their confidence in the technology. Our platform roadmap is looking to achieve 4TB+ and 5TB+ per platter in the coming years. 

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