Western Digital sprang a big surprise yesterday with the announcement of microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) as the foundation for the next generation of high-capacity hard drives. Hard drives may be on the way out for client computing systems, but they are still the storage media of choice for data centers. As recently as last year, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) was expected to be the next major technology update in the hard drive industry, but this potentially falls by the wayside for MAMR. This article presents a detailed analysis of Western Digital's MAMR announcement.

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