Seagate Announces Helium-based 16 TB Exos and IronWolf Hard Drives


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Seagate is launching their 16 TB CMR (conventional magnetic recording) helium drives today under two product lines - the Exos X for datacenter usage, and the IronWolf / IronWolf Pro for NAS units. The company has been actively shipping the Exos X drives to hyperscale customers, and today's launch is geared more towards the retail market. Similar to the currently available 14TB drives from Seagate, the new 16TB variants also use TDMR (two-dimensional magnetic recording) technology for the heads

The Exos X16 is a 3.5" 7200 RPM drive with SED (self-encrypting drive) options. It is currently the leading capacity point available across all HDD vendors, but, not the first 16 TB drive publicly announced - that credit goes to Toshiba's MG08 series launched in January 2019. Similar to Toshiba's MG08 series, the Seagate 16TB drives also use nine platters to achieve the capacity point.

Seagate claims that the new Exos X16 delivers 33% additional storage per rack compared to the 12 TB variants - thereby reducing the TCO for datacenter operators. The Exos X series is available in both SATA 6Gbps and SAS 12Gbps versions.

The 16 TB drives are also being made available under the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro branding - these drives carry a 300TB/yr workload rating, and deliver benefits typically required in SOHO / SMB NAS systems.

The Exos X16 16TB HDD SATA model (ST16000NM001G) has an MSRP of $629 and is available for purchase today. The dual-port SAS model (ST16000NM002G) is priced at $639. The detailed specifications of the various Exos X16 variants are reproduced in the table below.

The IronWolf Pro (ST16000NE000) has a MSRP of $665 and the IronWolf (ST16000VN001) is priced at $610. These models come with the Rescue Data Recovery Service. The detailed specifications are presented in the table below. The IronWolf 16TB drive is rated for 600K load/unload cycles. The corresponding figure for Exos X16 and the IronWolf Pro were not provided.

Seagate might not be the first to publicly announce a 16TB HDD. However, there is no sign of the previously announced Toshiba MG08 series in the retail market. Seagate's 16TB drives are available for purchase today.

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