Seagate showcases MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology

Seagate showcases MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology

This tech could double the potential IOPS of future HDDs

Published: 21st March 2018 | Source: Seagate | Author: Mark Campbell

Seagate showcases MACH.2 Multi Actuator technology

Seagate showcases MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology

For a long time standard HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) have been named "spinning rust" by many within the tech industry, having been surpassed in a lot of regards by NAND-based solid-state drives. This is especially in areas such as raw read/write performance, latency and the number of input and output operations (IOPS) they can conduct in a given timeframe.
This discounts on an area where HDDs have a crucial advantage, pricing. Hard drives are much cheaper to produce than an equivalent amount of HDD storage, with a 2TB HDD costing as little as £50 while a 2TB SATA SSD can cost upwards of £500, not even accounting for the higher cost of NVMe SSDs.
HDDs are far from being on their last legs, though that doesn't mean that performance isn't a contributing factor to their continued success, alongside increased to data density. Seagate has started showcasing their new MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology at the Open Computing Project (OCP) Summit, a technology that will allow future HDDs to offer up to 2x as many of read/write IOPS as today's HDD design.
In today's hard drives contain a single actuator, a component that moves the drive's read/write head over the drive's media surface (the physical hard disks inside the HDD). With a single actuator, all of the read/write heads on a drive act in unison. Multi-Actuator technology will allow half of the read/write's heads to act independently, allowing the HDD to read and write from two areas of the drive at once.

Seagate showcases MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology

While the idea of Multi-Actuator technology isn't new, the technology has become a lot more viable as single-drive capacities, and the number of physical disks inside HDDs has increased. Seagate has also stated that their Multi-Actuator tech currently adheres to today's standards, making their next generation drives "plug-and-play" with today's infrastructure. These drives are expected to use today's industry-standard 3.5-inch form factor.

At the OCP Summit Seagate is also expected to showcase HAMR technology, a technology which uses heat to the HDD's write surface for a fraction of a second to allow the drive's write magnetic field to imprint data onto smaller spaces. This will increase the amount of data that can fit onto a single hard disk, which will allow future HDDs to offer increased capacities.

Seagate's MACH.2 technology is designed to offer increased parallelism within a single HDD, allowing a single drive to handle several operations at once and deliver enhanced performance. In theory, this technology could enable HDDs to operate up to two times faster than single-actuator competitors.

When combined with technologies like HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording), Seagate will be able to deliver both performance and capacity improvements with next-generation HDDs, offering precisely what today's data-driven market demands.
You can join the discussion on Seagate's MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology on the OC3D Forums.

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