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New Western Digital Helium Hard Disk Drives

HGST LogoNew Western Digital (WD) hard disk drives have a new design. WD introduced a model in which its mechanic component is filled with helium, not air like it used to be! New design may allow the company to improve technical features of the disk drive.

Western Digital made announcement that new 3.5-inch hard drive has improved energy consumption by 23% as compared to similar “old fashined” models. It is expected that in idle state this drives would consume not more than 5,3 W.

This new design allows reducing platter’s thickness and increase record density, which means increasing the number of platters without increasing drive’s weight. This way, drive’s capacity can be increased by 40% which allows designing models with capacity of at least 5.6 TB. However, in theory, using helium can allow set up production of cheap models with hard disk speed of 10000 RPM and above. Today, such disks already exist but they are pricey even at small volumes.

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) who joined the Western Digital Corporation in March 2012 continued research with their helium hard disk drive technology and now new WD drives are able to push new models to the next limit. It is expected that production of this novelty product will start this year. It is expected that the cost of helium-filled hard disk will not be much different from ordinary models. On the other side the cost of information storage will definitely be lower.

When it comes for battle between SSD and hard disk drives emergence of new technologies like this one can help hard disk drives to remain on their trone for years.

“Manufacturers working in hard disk industry have been trying for a decade to accomplish something similar”, — says Brendan Collins, Vice-President Product Marketing HGST, — “However, only we so far patented a technology allowing mass production of such disks. We think that within the next 10 years this design will be used in cloud storages and data centres as main storage device”.

Mr. Collins explais that the most difficult part in creating new hard disk drive was to ensure proper air-tightness to avoid leakage. These new, helium drives can be used in more severe environment than in the case of ordinary models.

When it comes for battle between SSD and hard disk drives emergence of new technologies like this one can help hard disk drives to remain on apex for years. For data recovery companies this new technology will be yet another problem to deal with. Years from now our technicians may wear gas masks or they will sound strange with all that helium.

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About Igor Sestanj

Data recovery specialist currently involved with Advanced Data Recovery Analytics and Free Data Recovery Quote. Enjoys while sailing Paradise and dreaming of building a space craft.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “New Western Digital Helium Hard Disk Drives

  1. Wow! I have never expected this! I thought that computer storage in the second decade of 21 century belongs to solid state drives. I guess I was wrong!

    Posted by Frank | June 22, 2013, 2:51 pm
  2. I read somewhere that we are running out of helium? Maybe we should we go to space and mine asteroids or planets? Good article. Can’t wait to buy one !

    Posted by Meesha Sharo | June 22, 2013, 2:55 pm

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