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Seagate confirms 20TB HAMR hard disk drives have been shipped

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(Image credit: Future)

Seagate has exclusively confirmed to TechRadar Pro that it has started to ship 20TB hard disk drives, but don't rush out to buy one just yet, because they are not currently available to consumers.

The drive, which sports the largest HDD capacity to date, is likely to be part of the Exos family as we revealed back in August 2020, despite the fact that this SKU is still conspicuously absent from the Seagate website.

A spokesperson for the company told us that Seagate is "shipping these drives on a limited basis in our Enterprise Data Solutions (EDS) products and to select datacenter customers, as we continue collecting production and field data".

The HAMR technology that powers this new hard disk drive is expected to be at the core of Seagate's ambition to deliver a 50TB hard disk drive by 2026.

Future of HDD in jeopardy

But it could well be too little too late. The arrival of PLC (the successor of QLC) in the solid state drive market, combined with a resurgent tape industry means that the venerable hard disk drive finds itself sandwiched between two very aggressive rivals both wanting to eat away at  its market share.

And while disk drive capacities are increasing, they can't match the exponential growth seen in competing media. The largest SSD right now is a 100TB model from Nimbus Data, while a prototype of a 580TB tape was unveiled only a few days ago.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.