Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Western Digital Launches New Hard Drive Filled with… Helium

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Helium balloons float right?  It's all about the physics.  Helium is less dense than air, so Helium rises & provides enough lift to keep a balloon aloft.
 
Similar thinking (not floating, but density) has created a new hard drive from Western Digital.  The new Ultrastar He is a device that is filled with… you guessed it… helium.  The ideal makes pretty good sense.
 
Since helium is less dense than air (14% less dense actually) there is less friction on the platters that spin inside the hard drive enclosure.  That means that less power is needed to run the drive and because of that, an extra platter can be added.
 
Here is what the company had to say:
 

Innovation for Next-generation, High-density Data Centers

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HGST delivers the world’s first hermetically sealed, helium hard drive, the Ultrastar® He6 for massive scale-out environments. Why does helium make a difference? Helium has only one-seventh the density of air. Replacing air with helium inside a hard drive dramatically reduces the turbulence caused by the spinning disk, cuts power consumption and results in a lower temperature within the disk drive.

The reduction in turbulence for the spinning disk allows HGST to offer a seven-disk design in a traditional 3.5-inch form factor. In addition to being the world’s first helium-filled hard drive, HGST Ultrastar He6 is also the first hard drive in the industry to offer a 6 terabyte1 capacity. This design offers a 50% capacity gain and still reduces the energy needed to run the drive by up to 23%.

TCOptimizedTM - Driving Down Data Center TCO with Helium

The amount of data that companies need to store is growing exponentially, but IT budgets remain flat. With 6TB, a low 5.3 idle watts, a reduced weight of 640g, and running at 4-5°C cooler, the new Ultrastar He6 lowers data center TCO on virtually every level. Key TCO benefits when compared to a typical 3.5-inch, five-platter, air-filled 4TB drive* include: 

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