Toshiba whips up small NAS and workstation disk drives in 16TB flavours

Toshiba has introduced 16TB versions of its N300 small office NAS and X300 PC/workstation disk drives, adding two extra TB to the existing products.

The company’s first 16TB drive, the helium-filled, 9-platter MG08, made its in January 2019, and gave it a two dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) head to cope with the narrow tracks on the platter. Each read head has two readers, slightly offset from each other, to cancel out inter-track interference noise. 

Toshiba TDMR diagram.

The N300 and X300 drives have a 512MiB cache, double that of their 14GB precursor  but spin at the same 7,200rpm. Toshiba has not published a data sheet for these drives but we understand they feature the same 6Gbit/s SATA interface as the 14TB N300 and X300.

The N300 supports use in NAS chassis with up to 8 bays and has a 180TB/year workload rating, with 24×7 operation. It has a three-year warranty while the X300 makes do with two years. We do not know the sustained data transfer rate and that number wasn’t supplied for the MG08 either. Possibly it’s not that impressive.

The 14TB N300 did 260MB/sec so the 16TB version should be in that area or better.

Yesterday Western Digital announced 18TB and 20TB drives using microwave energy-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) technology. Toshiba is also developing MAMR technology. WD said its H550 18TB drive can be derated to 16TB but it has no pure 16TB drive offering.

The N300 and X300 should be available by the end of the year.

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