Hopefully you have had chicken pox already, otherwise you might want to skip Shingled HDDs

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 09:56 AM |
Tagged: HAMR, western digital, ssd, hdd, Areal Density

Western Digital, along with Seagate, Toshiba, and Hitachi are working on the next step in increasing the storage density of platter based drives while HAMR is still in the works.  They will be adding overlapping tracks to their platters, which they are referring to as shingles (as in the roof, not the pox).  There will be two types implemented, with the first type having the shingling hidden to ensure compatibility with existing applications which might take exception to overlapping data tracks.  Type two will not hide its light under a bushel and will require applications to be aware of the shingling and hopefully take full advantage of the new type of magnetic recording.  According to the presentation that The Register attended we will see shingles in the near future, with HAMR due in 2016.

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"Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) at present, in a couple of years there will be more fundamental hard drive technologies co-existing in the market than there are hard drive vendors."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Western Digital shrinks 1TB 2.5" WD Blue HDD down to 7mm

Subject: Storage | June 3, 2013 - 05:15 AM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, Blue, 7mm, 1TB

Today Western Digital continues their push for smaller and thinner mobile hard drives by releasing a 1TB revision to their 7mm Blue series of mobile devices:

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Looking at the new spec sheet, the new 1TB Blue carries increased cache (16MB) and reduced Drive Ready time (2.8 sec) as compared to their previous 9.5mm 1TB models.

Press blast after the break.

Western Digital refreshes enterprise lineup, launches new Se series datacenter HDD

Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 05:15 AM |
Tagged: Xe, western digital, wdc, se, RE, hdd

Today Western Digital did a slight rearranging of their enterprise product lineup:

wd se-1.png

Starting from the top down, the Xe series is essentially a SAS version of their 2.5" 10k RPM VelociRaptor form factor, available in 300GB, 600GB, and 900GB capacities. The Re series is the same 'RE' we are all familiar with, and is now available in both SAS and SATA. That bottom block, however, is something new:

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The Se series is Western Digital's attempt at a lower cost Re series drive, and will be available in capacities up to 4TB. 

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So the Se is an Advanced Format version of the Re, designed for reduced workloads. Throughput is slightly reduced due to differences in track geometry, though WD let me know they expect final shipping Se's may be closer to the Re spec than the slide indicates. The Se carries the same RPM as well as StableTrac (where the spindle is supported at both ends), RAFF (where accelerometers compensate for chassis vibration), and TLER (where IO request timeouts are adjusted to play nicely with hardware RAID).

The key to the success of the Se will be just what sort of reduced cost Western Digital is able to price the drive at. That information, as well as a full review of an Se, will be coming later today, just as soon as our next batch of samples arrives.

HGST Develops 1.5TB 2.5" Mobile Drive With 500GB Platter Tech

Subject: Storage | May 21, 2013 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: hgst, western digital, 500GB platter, 1.5tb drive, mobile hard drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST, which is now owned by Western Digital) has developed a new 2.5” mobile hard drive called the Travelstar 5K1500. The hard drive uses three 500GB platter drives for a total capacity of 1.5TB. HGST claims that the drive is the highest capacity 9.5mm mobile drive on the market. Additionally, the company has stated that the new drive is faster than its existing two-platter hard drives according to the PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 benchmark suites.

HGST Logo.jpg

The 1.5TB Travelstar 5K1500 is a 5400 RPM hard drive with 32MB of on-board cache, a 6Gbps SATA III interface, and shock protection features.

The new mobile drive will be used in external hard drives, all-in-one systems, and notebooks where storage space is valued more than pure performance. It will be available sometime in June for an as-yet-unannounced price point. Another version of the Travelstar 5K1500 that offers automatic encryption of data will be available in Q3 2013.

Source: Maximum PC

Western Digital's SSHD Black magic revealed

Subject: Storage | May 14, 2013 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: sshd, cache, western digital, Black SSHD, Hybrid Drive

The Tech Report sat down with Matt Rutledge, Vice President of Western Digital's client computing group to discuss the software behind their new HDDs with an SSD cache.  Sandisk will be providing the hardware and WD who will be providing the custom caching software which will not be coded into the hardware but will function at the driver level.  Matt mentioned that this software can also make use of the system's memory and incorporate it into the cache as well though it was not completely clear if there will be many user editable settings.  Check the interview out.

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"WD revealed that its hybrid drives will use SanDisk iSSD flash components. The announcement was devoid of details on how the caching system works, but we can now shed new light on the software-managed scheme."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source:

When only 4TB will do

Subject: Storage | April 9, 2013 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: western digital, wd black, hdd, 4TB

SSDs may be the speed kings but when you need a lot of storage space they quickly become quite expensive which is where the new WD Black 4TB HDD shines as it is only $85 $300.  It spins at 7200RPM and has a 64MB cache which ought to make it a bit faster than other high density HDDs which are on the market though the 800GB platters could slow that expected performance somewhat.  It also comes with a 5 year warranty which is much better than the usual 2 year warranty many companies have adopted as standard for their platter based drives.  Check out the full review at The Tech Report.

TR_drive.jpg

"Western Digital's Black 4TB the only desktop hard drive to combine that top-of-the-line capacity with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed and five years of warranty coverage. We take a closer look."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Double your drive density with HGST's special new offer

Subject: General Tech | March 4, 2013 - 09:40 AM |
Tagged: hgst, hard drives, western digital

HGST, the recently purchased research division at Western Digital is promising to double the density of platter drives over the next few years, enhancing the longevity of a storage media that many already consider obsolete.  However, like tape and optical media there continue to be many scenarios where inexpensive high density storage is more useful than the speed offered by an SSD.  Using a combination of self-assembling molecules and nanoimprinting they are hitting a density of 1.2 trillion bits per square inch, not quite the density of the salted drives we heard about in 2011 but perhaps much closer to market.  Each of those dots is 10nm in size and because of the self assembling nature of the pattern HGST told The Register that they expect to be able to shrink the size of those dots even more as their process matures.

elreg_hgst_nanotech_drive_platter.jpg

"HGST, the Western Digital subsidiary formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, says it has developed a method of manufacturing hard-disk platters using nanotechnology that could double the density of today's hard drives."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Western Digital’s WD TV Play Brings Steaming Media to Your Television For Under $100

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2013 - 09:26 PM |
Tagged: western digital, streaming box, media player, DLNA

Western Digital may primarily be a hard drive manufacturer, but it also dabbles in media streaming boxes. Last week, a new product called the WD TV Play joined the existing lineup as a cheaper alternative to both the WD TV Live and Live Hub boxes.

wdfWDTV_Play.jpg

The WD TV Play measures 4.17” x 4.13” x 1.07” and is black with a blue outline. Unlike the other streaming boxes, the Play ditches the rectangular shape for one that resembles a trapezoid (where the base is wider than the top). The WD TV Play has support for a number of streaming media services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora. Notably absent is Amazon Video on Demand and Vudu, but otherwise it is a decent lineup of the popular internet media sources.

Additionally, the WD TV Play can playback local media from a flash drive or from a DLNA server. It support a variety of video and audio formats, but unlike the more expensive WD TV Live it does not support MPEG-2 or DTS Audio. That is the necessary compromise in order to get an approximately $20 cheaper device.

Media Type Supported File Formats
Video AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG4, VC-1), MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T/M2TS (MPEG4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, AVC), WMV9, FLV (AVC)
Photo JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
Audio MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby TrueHD
Playlist PLS, M3U, WPL, M3U8, XML, CUE
Subtitle SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI, MKV (embedded sub)

Rear IO on the WD TV Play includes a composite video output, HDMI, Ethernet jack, and Optical audio output. The media player reportedly also supports Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port for loading up media files. It comes with an infrared remote control, but you can also download the WD TV app to your smartphone and control the box using your phone's touchscreen.

wdfWDTV_Play (1).jpg

In fact, the new case design and removal of certain codecs are the only real differences between the new Play and existing Live streaming box. The WD TV Play has an MSRP of $69.99 USD. For comparison, the WD TV Live is $99.99. If you do not need MPEG-2 or DTS audio, the Play can easily save you a few bucks.

More information can be found on the WD TV Play product page.

CES 2013: Western Digital thin 5mm and 7mm hard drives now also come in hybrid SSHD!

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2013 - 07:03 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, western digital, wdc, sshd, hybrid, 5mm, 7mm

Today Western Digital showed me their new 5mm and 7mm mobile hard drives. These are very thin, intended for Ultrabooks, and come not only in the familiar Blue product line, but also in a new Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD). The new thin hybrid models are dubbed WD Black. The 5mm Blue and Black will be available in 500GB capacities:

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Adding another 500GB to reach a 1TB capacity point requires another platter, and therefore another 2mm, bringing the 1TB Blue and Black to 7mm:

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The WD Black SSHD will come with either 16 ot 24GB of flash memory cache (varying based on OEM configuration / request). More to follow on these once we can get some hours logged on their new models.

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Western Digital releases 4TB Black series HDD

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 07:35 AM |
Tagged: WD, western digital, Black, 4TB, hdd

Today Western Digital announced their new 4TB Black Series HDD. This new drive boasts some features normally reserved for their RE (enterprise) series drives, such as dual processors and dual stage actuator tech. This 7200 RPM unit comes with the now standard 64MB cache and SATA 6Gb/sec interface. We will be reviewing a sample upon its arrival, but I suspect performance will be close to the RE series, albeit without the additional enterprise-specific features.

WDBlack_CoverOn_UprightLeft_4TB_HiRes.jpg

The 4TB Black kicks off at an MSRP of $339. Hopefully we see some 4TB Greens and Reds out of Western Digital shortly - as those should be at a lower cost and be more suited to the typical mass-storage applications of such a high capacity drive.

Press blast after the break: