Thread regarding Seagate Technology Inc. layoffs

WD beating STX

Former seagater here. Is stx product roadmap competitive with WD? Just read about WD ePMR and it seems like a good transition to mamr and later HAMR compared to stx going right to HAMR? What's the truth on products between the 2 companies?

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Post ID: @OP+15BMmGul

24 replies (most recent on top)

WD is clearly beating STX on Technology, imagination and Creativity. Seagate has been consistently behind in Nearline (except 16TB) and doesn’t seem to have a clue other than the All-in on HAMR, which seems far away still. Seems like they need to pull the rabbit out of a hat like they did with Notebook/Desktop drives to lead the market again. It seems though the current crop of leaders are stuck in the follower mentality.

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Post ID: @yumx+15BMmGul

https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/collateral/tech-brief/technical-brief-continuous-innovation.pdf

some data (looks like simulation), page 3. looks easy, actually. apparently it tightens up the write field switching allowing for reduce jitter and therefore higher bpi.

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Post ID: @ffqk+15BMmGul

Even if stx can figure this out, WD will have a 2 year headstart. Great they thought of an alternative to coslty and capital intensive HAMR to bridge the shift to NAND.

What will stx do besides replace the CEO?

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Post ID: @fpiw+15BMmGul

https://blog.westerndigital.com/hdd-magic-20tb-18tb/

ignoring the obvious marketing, we see this gem:

"Greater BPI is achieved by using the first commercial implementation of EAMR technology. Energy-enhanced PMR (ePMR) provides a bias current that is applied to the recording head to improve writability. And most importantly, it is based on current technology which allows us to maintain reliability and the performance needed for data center workloads."

so, they are running a current by/in the head to quicken reversal. since they found it while trying to do MAMR, i assume that means they are running a current into/around the write pole tip.

that should be easy enough.

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Post ID: @fdys+15BMmGul

The throughput is pretty much limited so no.....don't look for 5.25" drives again unless each disc has it's own actuator and controller. LOL, maybe that is why STX is working on multi-actuators again.

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Post ID: @ckon+15BMmGul

"Science fair project" was probably meant in the sense of a technology more useful in the theoretical than practical.

The goal for going to less parts has now developed into cramming in more platters into a smaller space.

One wonders if the "Elite" family of drives (5.25" form factor) may soon make a comeback after 20 odd years.

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Post ID: @cosw+15BMmGul

Like @awyt+15BMmGul mentioned, seems like it’s a pick your poison. Moving goal posts or possible tunnel vision.

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Post ID: @adwg+15BMmGul

I’m not sure he’s painted himself into a corner. I think it’s well understood that if WD actually puts something out, we’ll quickly be evaluating it. Remember they were doing Hamr but it was too hard, so they did Mamr (which we have yet to see any real data) and that apparently was too hard so now it’s ePMR. Who knows, maybe that’s too hard for them and they do something else.

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Post ID: @awyt+15BMmGul

Call it what you want, but it sure looks like a company betting it all on HAMR when other lower cost options would do and being pursued by WD. If HAMR does work margins will be bad for years, if it does not work the company will be in bankruptcy. That's how a newbie, tech centric CEO painted himself into a corner.

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Post ID: @9pwj+15BMmGul

“Science-fair project”? In business it’s called R&D and if you’re not doing it you’re a sitting duck. Do you have any idea how much we’ve invested in R&D so that we know for the most part what works and what doesn’t? Do you have any idea how many things are super promising but just aren’t a financially viable option now due to current cost and have been shelved?

Just because you may not be on the R&D side and only see HAMR as the “one thing we’ve done” doesn’t mean we haven’t done a sh– ton that you don’t know about.

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Post ID: @9asr+15BMmGul

Actually HAMR has been around since 1999 publically.

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Post ID: @5hhr+15BMmGul

I guess we'll find out pretty soon.

There's not a stop-gap between current products and HAMR but it seems WD has something between current products and MAMR.

At some point the 15 year science-fair project of HAMR will need to pay off.

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Post ID: @5eop+15BMmGul

HAMR: The technology of tomorrow, three years from now!

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Post ID: @4tiq+15BMmGul

Isn't the implementation of HAMR always three years out?

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Post ID: @3oxk+15BMmGul

Don't worry. HAMR will ramp in three years!

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Post ID: @3zyp+15BMmGul

Get all the past road map and tell me which was accurate.

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Post ID: @3fwe+15BMmGul

you should read the articles.

"Che did not say how energy-assistance worked with ePMR. He did say: “When we worked on MAMR we found there is a new physical phenomenon we can utilise. And by combining this phenomena we created a new recording scheme called ePMR; standing for energy-assist PMR.”"

and

"According to Western Digital, EPMR is particularly easy to incorporate into hard drives, especially considering the fact that it does not use a spin-torque oscillator, which is a key element of Western Digital's MAMR technology."

That is, neither article says what ePMR is. It clearly isn't MAMR since there is no STO.

As for MAMR, STX has looked at this many times over many years and they have always concluded it doesn't work. Has STX forgotten its history? How the once mighty have fallen.

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Post ID: @2qdz+15BMmGul

There are quite a few articles with both mamr and ePMR just takes a desire to read about the industry. Here is a couple without trying...looks like we know who does not know anything...

https://blocksandfiles.com/2020/01/28/western-digital-gives-hdd-technology-roadmap-lesson/

https://www.anandtech.com/show/15229/western-digital-energy-tech-24tb-and-beyond

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Post ID: @2lsx+15BMmGul

and where did you read about ePMR? WD hasn't talked about ePMR.

the fact you say MAMR implies you don't know much about anything.

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Post ID: @2fhz+15BMmGul

They made fun of WD putting helium in drives during all hands. Next quarter announced that we would be making helium drives.

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Post ID: @qtu+15BMmGul

WD seems to have a better approach than seagate's all or nothing on HAMR. HAMR still requires great investment and is not a secret that it has been delayed for the last 8 to 10 years. This is hard stuff and transitional technologies are more predictable. Our CEO chose to bet it all for the ultimate science project that is not necessary for the next 5 or 6 years.

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Post ID: @kgp+15BMmGul

You do realize anyone with real knowledge of the technology won’t be talking. No one would want to risk their job just to discuss technology details that are likely under NDA on some lay-off forum. With that said, I definitely have my opinions seeing the tech but don’t care to discuss it. I like getting paychecks.

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Post ID: @xxt+15BMmGul

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