Western Digital Reimagines the Hard Drive

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Western Digital has introduced a new flash-enhanced drive architecture that breaks traditional boundaries of storage.

Building on the company’s unique ability to innovate with HDD and flash, the new storage architecture with OptiNAND technology optimizes and integrates HDDs with iNAND embedded flash drives. 

This gives customers  like hyperscale cloud, CSPs, enterprises, smart video surveillance partners, NAS suppliers and more – a solution to meet the exponential growth in data creation by delivering the capacity, performance and reliability needed to store vast amounts of data today and well into the future.

 Leveraging industry-first technologies including triple-stage actuator (TSA) and HelioSeal technology, the first products featuring the new drive architecture will deliver an unsurpassed 2.2TB per platter, extending capacity gains on proven ePMR technology. 

 Western Digital says unlike a hybrid drive where flash is used to store user data, the new architecture is a breakthrough in storage that works differently, enabling advances on multiple dimensions of storage capability. 

“By adding vertically integrated iNAND to its world-class HDDs, and with enhanced firmware algorithm and SoC innovations, Western Digital’s flash-enhanced drives with OptiNAND technology deliver improved capacity, performance and reliability to help customers meet growing storage demands.” 

Capacity: The drive works smarter, with enhanced firmware algorithms taking advantage of expanded metadata that has been offloaded to the iNAND, enabling more tracks per inch (TPI) with resulting increased areal density.

Performance: Drive latency is improved with proprietary optimizations to drive firmware focused on requiring fewer adjacent track interference (ATI) refreshes and reducing the need for write cache flushes in write cache-enabled mode.

Reliability: Nearly 50x more customer data can be retained in the event of an emergency power off (EPO) scenario, and with Western Digital’s unique capabilities in vertically integrated supply, design, development, testing and qualification of flash-enhanced drives, customers can count on the drive’s reliability.

Availability

 The new flash-enhanced drive architecture with OptiNAND technology will be available across the company’s portfolio of drives and storage platforms. It will also serve as the foundation for future designs and innovations, with further advances to come in intelligence, reliability, capacity and time-to-market value. 

Western Digital will begin announcing market-specific, purpose-built products across its portfolio later this year.  

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