TOKYO, Japan – Tokyo-based technology company Hoya Corporation recently introduced its HDD glass prototypes that could help push forward the development of 20 TB HDDs. The company is now encouraging other manufacturers to use glass substrates.
Hoya believes that their innovative HDD glass prototypes would start the trend and inspire popular HDD producers such as Western Digital and Seagate to adopt the same practice. The company aims to address the need for a sturdier material towards the creation of a more effective 20 TB hard drive.
So far, only laptops use substrates made of glass. The material has shown positive effects compared to aluminum since glass expands less when heated. Its weight makes the spindle spins slower unlike when aluminum is used. Glass can tolerate thin and light platters due to its firmness, in contrast with the commonly used aluminum that is too flexible. Substrates made of glass can also be packed tighter, unlike its rival.
Hoya’s glass models are prototypes for hard drives that measure 3.5 inches. The platters are a tad smaller than the regular 0.635 mm thickness used as a standard while the glass ones are just 0.5 mm and 0.381 mm thick.
With thinner platters, the user can add more platters on the same drive, adding a whopping 40 percent to the disk’s capacity. Currently, there are 2.5 mm glass disks being used for laptops.
It is also advantageous to use glass substrates because it helps improve the Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) used for laser disk writing. Seagate aims to release HDDs that are equipped with HAMR next year with 20 TB storage in 2020.
The use of HDD glass prototypes is tapped to go against its thriving rival, the solid-state drive (SSD) when it comes to storage capacity. Unlike SSDs, HDDs are more affordable and easily available for personal use. With the cloud service revolution, this latest technology could help provide a system that will efficiently provide back-end storage for user files.