Could we see the largest hard drive be 20TB  by 2020?  Right now, we have the RAIDPac, which can be 8TB when set in RAID5 mode and 12TB in RAID0 mode, but of course we’re cheating a bit when we call that the world’s largest removable storage because each RAIDPac actually has three 4TB drives and a controller in it.

Largest removable Drive for backup - The RAIDPac

Largest removable Drive for backup – The RAIDPac

But if we’re talking about the largest single drive, Seagate Technology plc is demonstrating its next generation heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology at CEATEC 2013 on TDK Corp.‘s booth October 1-5th 2013.  HAMR technology is said to have the potential to create a 20TB drive by 2020 according to Mark Re, Seagate CTO.

HAMR increases the storage density by heating the platters with a laser at the spots the bits are being recorded.  Heating makes it easier to write and subsequent cooling stabilizes the data.  HAMR is expected to deliver storage densities as high as 50Tb per square inch.  The next generation drives are expected to be 2.5″ enterprise class products spinning at 10,000 rpm. We talk a little more about HAMR and some other competing technologies in this article.  

The demo is discussed in more detail  in this Forbes article.