Toshiba has announced that their new 18TB hard disk will join Seagate and WD in the 18TB storage market. The MG09 is a 9-platter design in a 3.5-inch format helium-filled enclosure. It comes in 16TB and 18TB capacities, 7,200rpm, has a 550TB/year workload rating and features either a 12 Gbit/s SAS or 6 Gbit/s SATA interface.

Toshiba MG09 hard disk internals

At present the studio has one of the older 12TB disks which has served the needs perfectly. Now the larger capacity 18TB uses a flux assisted technique to improve the write ability. This is similar to the technology that WD has been working on for the last few years. For its 20TB drive, Western Digital uses ePMR plus shingling but Toshiba is still a conventional perpendiucular design using some heat to improve cooervity. Seagate is also transitioning with their HAMR disks at the 18TB and 20TB capacities.

The FC-MAMR technology uses a specifically oriented output from a Spin Torque Oscillator (STO) added to the write head to increase the strength of the magnetic flux write signals pumped out to the disk’s recording surface and so make smaller and still stable bit areas possible. It adds an effective 2TB capacity, a 12.5 percent increase, so a 16TB drive becomes an 18TB one.

The industry has been slow in the transition beyond 18TB which likely driven by different market needs vs consumer needs. Recall the controversy when drive managed consumer tier disks were discovered in the market.

The move to the helium filled MG lineup has been a prudent move. Toshiba has quality hard disks that many have been happy with. Toshiba disks have not been as popular as Seagate but the MG series disks are worth taking a look at.

Now that all three manufacturers are fielding heat assisted drives it is likely that the server market will be the proving ground before consumers find the larger capacity disks at their local retailer. Consumer rigs are find with M.2 SSD and hard disks to handle the overflow of games.

Toshiba said their samples of new MG09 18TB disk will be available by the end of March and volume production is now ramping up.

Most likely consumers will find the Toshiba disks for sale late in 2021 after servers orders are completed. It seems that server grade disks are now widely being sold to consumers who are willing to pay for the capacity. Seagate 18TB disks are already widely available.


18TBSATA-3.3512e MG09ACA18TE
16TBSATA-3.3512e MG09ACA16TE