Seagate Reveals World's Biggest HDD At 16 TB

Seagate shows off the one HDD to rule them all with a capacity of 16 TB. The company hopes to achieve 100 TB in 5-7 years.

Ever wanted to have all of your Steam games installed at once, while keeping all your downloaded movies, pictures and documents? Seagate revealed a new HDD that will let you do that and still have plenty of space to spare. The Exos 16 TB hard drive using HAMR technology is now the world’s biggest HDD in terms of capacity overtaking the 14 TB Barracuda Pro.

The new model is intended for the enterprise market, but that won’t last. Since the 14 TB Barracuda Pro is a consumer model, a 2 TB upgrade shouldn’t be hard to muster. You won’t need to wait long for 16 TB consumer models. So, if the upgrade is “just” 2 TB, why is this major tech news? Beyond it nabbing the title of “biggest HDD,” the Exos 16 TB includes some new technological solutions.

HAMR, which is the acronym for heat-assisted magnetic recording, to be precise. This replaces the regular PMR, perpendicular magnetic recording, found in most HDDs. To the average consumer, this doesn’t mean much at all. However, Seagate believes that HAMR is the key to making significantly larger capacities readily available shortly.

The company has laid out some of its plans for upcoming models. They claim to be on-track in their plans to go over 20 TB capacities as soon as 2020, with the massive 100 TB milestone only being 5-7 years away. It wasn’t too long ago when the jump to 1 TB was lauded as the next big thing. To have 100 TB within reach already is a great way to contextualize just how drastically things have sped up.

In a world where SSDs have become more and more common, one might ask what the point of even developing newer and bigger HDDs is. Seagate has pre-emptively defended its HDD development in a blog post recently. They cite IDC reports indicating a tenfold increase in worldwide data creation by 2020. SSDs are not the best choice for read-only bulk storage due to smaller capacities and higher cost. For backups and archiving, huge HDDs make more sense.

Sticking to the present, however, the Exos 16 TB model is equipped with SATA 6Gbps and 12Gbps SAS interfaces, and since it fits the 3.5-inch HDD form factor, it should work perfectly with any modern PC. It’s fully formatted from the get-go, so this should be a plug and play affair. We don’t know about the price. However, more info is likely to be released soon.

In other storage news, Patriot recently released a new line of PCIe SSDs.