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Seagate HAMR R&D Delivers Industry-Leading Reliability

Seagate sets a clear path for Mozaic 3+ mass-capacity data storage implementing HAMR technology.

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Seagate, the leading innovator of mass-capacity storage solutions, has invested decades of scientific expertise, resources, and dedication into pioneering the next frontier in hard drive recording technology: heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). Seagate’s implementation of HAMR and related technologies helps customers meet their ever-expanding data storage requirements by improving areal density, which is the measure of how much data can fit on a hard disk drive platter and is usually expressed in terabytes per disk.

In response to our customers’ ever-changing data storage demands, Seagate continues to invest heavily in research and development, building on its four decades of innovations that drove the personal computer revolution and subsequently accelerated the massive expansion of the global datasphere. The company has shipped billions of terabytes of data, and its dedication to R&D yields real benefits. The culmination of our hard drive efforts has resulted in the development of Mozaic 3+, Seagate’s unique implementation of HAMR technology to deliver mass-capacity storage at unprecedented areal densities of 3TB/disk and beyond.

Mozaic 3+ is a composite of the most complex nanoscale recording technologies and material science breakthroughs on the planet. This solution is how data can now be stored to media at density levels that were previously unimaginable...all while using the same material resources as current Seagate hard drives and delivered in a 3.5-inch form factor. Mozaic 3+ is both the present and future, with an eye toward 50TB, but still maintaining a ‘10 platters and 20 heads’ approach. 

With Mozaic 3+, data center operators can store more exabytes in less space with fewer racks, amounting to massive TCO savings due to less energy consumed and floor space needed.

As is the case with any transformative technology, the narrative surrounding HAMR occasionally becomes clouded with myths, often inadvertently magnified by industry chatter.

These misconceptions range from its readiness, quality, and reliability to concerns about compatibility and ease of integration into existing data center storage architectures. 

Now’s the time to set the record straight. Seagate’s expert engineering teams have meticulously scrutinized, rigorously tested, and completely validated every facet of HAMR technology.

Seagate Mozaic 3+ hard drives seamlessly blend into the data center ecosystem, mirroring the behavior and integration process of every other mainstream enterprise hard drive. Numerous advancements in data storage and hard drive technology have emerged over time—most of which were refined and proven—and are now integrated into some of Seagate’s most advanced data storage solutions.

Despite the difficulties of creating ground-breaking technology, Seagate has invested a lot into research and development with the goal of producing reliable products that are on par with or even better than our current flagship solutions.

Since 2016, Seagate has run simulated field usage for Mozaic 3+ products and witnessed improvements in key components. In the last two years, the result has been a 50% increase in reliability—the same level as conventional PMR hard drives.

Seagate was the first to bring hard drives with HAMR and related technologies to the market because we’ve rigorously tested and proved the reliability of our solutions. Here are some key stats on the topic to consider:

Keeping Pace in MTBF

The rated mean time between failure (MBTF) for Seagate Mozaic 3+ hard drives is 2.5 million hours, which is also the current rate for Seagate Exos® enterprise hard drives. Mozaic 3+ solutions will adhere to the same quality assurance specifications required by all Seagate products.

Exceeding Reliability Standards

Thousands of Mozaic 3+ read/write heads have been tested and shown to reliably transfer data for more than 6,000 hours (about 8 months), equaling 3.2 petabytes of data transferred on a single head. The test resulted in more than 20 times the amount of data transferred on a typical nearline hard drive.

Trusted Components with New Breakthroughs

More than 95% of the technology in Seagate Mozaic 3+ hard drives aligns with our existing flagship products, ensuring adherence to Seagate hard drive standard specifications. Along with trusted, reliable components, customers will also benefit from new, tested engineering breakthroughs such as iron-platinum, nanoparticle media, and more.


Seamless Transition for Outstanding Results

The transition from conventional PMR to HAMR is seamless. Seagate uses the PMR-to-HAMR test process along with HAMR-specific testing. Since our Mozaic 3+ drives are backwards-compatible with the most recent PMR drives, there will be no need to modify the enterprise specification, warranty, or form factor to use them. The difference is significant improvements to total cost of ownership with Mozaic 3+ solutions.

Hard Drive Life Extension

Aggressive field use stress tests have demonstrated 7+ years of head life, which in most cases exceeds current PMR-based lifespans along with user expectations. While most customers expect modern PMR drives to last around four or five years (assuming an average amount of reads and writes), testing on Seagate's internal HAMR-based Mozaic 3+ drives has shown that they can withstand more use than that.

Tried and Tested – Over Half a Million Times

With a decade of experience manufacturing products integrated with HAMR and associated technologies currently behind us, we’ve produced and tested over 500,000 Mozaic 3+ units. Seagate is working with customers and partners around the world to garner valuable feedback on its introduction of these proven solutions.

Seagate HAMR R&D: A Sound Investment

Our commitment to producing the best drives is evident: Seagate has invested more than $2 billion to develop this reliable HAMR-integrated product and a robust supply chain. Our outstanding engineers drive the industry-leading technological innovations in our products and services and take every step needed to ensure our advanced offerings are fully compatible, exceed reliability standards, are environmentally conscious, and satisfy customer requirements.

As global data storage demand continues to surge, Seagate remains proactive, dedicating time and resources to advancing areal density through Mozaic 3+ solutions.

Find out more about Mozaic 3+ and its multiple technology breakthroughs at www.seagate.com/innovation/mozaic.

For more about Seagate’s quality and reliability assurance, see https://www.seagate.com/our-story/product-quality-assurance.