HGST unveils new helium-based hard disk drive platform

Infotech Lead India: HGST has launched a new helium-based hard disk drive (HDD) platform, designed to increase capacity and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) for enterprise and cloud customers.


With products expected in 2013, the new platform enables HGST to go beyond its award-winning five-platter design, providing a path for higher capacity storage and lower customer TCO for the next 10 years, the company said.

The new platform allows HGST to design seven-platter drives in a standard 3.5-inch form factor that will cost-effectively extend the capacity and cost-per-gigabyte curve for many product generations to come. Some of the inherent features of the platform including the helium fill, allow HGST to significantly improve datacenter TCO on virtually every level: capacity, power, cooling and storage density.

“The benefits of operating a HDD with helium fill have been known for a long time. The breakthrough is in the product and process design, which seals the helium inside the HDD enclosure cost effectively and in high-volume manufacturing,” said Steve Campbell, chief technology officer at HGST.

The density of helium is one-seventh that of air, delivering significant advantages to HGST’s sealed-drive platform. The lower density means dramatically less drag force acting on the spinning disk stack so that mechanical power into the motor is substantially reduced. It also helps reduce fluid flow forces buffeting the disks and the arms. The lower shear forces and more efficient thermal conduction of helium also mean the drive will run cooler and emit less acoustic noise.

HGST, formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is now a Western Digital company.

“Our new breakthrough platform delivers unprecedented innovation with new features optimized to meet the performance, scalability, efficiency and TCO demands of both corporate and cloud datacenters, which could not be achieved using conventional techniques,” said Mike Cordano, president of HGST. “With these improvements, customer interest has been positive and we look forward to qualifying our new drives in 2013.”

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