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Helium filled hard drive reduces temperature in more

Western Digital subsidiary HGST has unveiled an interesting new enterprise-class hard drive series. The new Ultrastar He hard drives and are the first to be hermetically sealed and filled with helium. The drives offer 6 TB of capacity and have been qualified by some of the biggest companies in the tech world including Netflix, HP, and a number of social media companies.

"With ever-increasing pressures on corporate and cloud data centers to improve storage efficiencies and reduce costs, HGST is at the forefront delivering a revolutionary new solution that significantly improves data center TCO on virtually every level – capacity, power, cooling and storage density – all in the same 3.5-inch form factor," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST.

The reason the drives are filled with helium is to reduce turbulence inside the hard drive associated with normal air. The helium used inside the drive is 1/7 of the density of normal room air allowing for lower power consumption and lower operating temperature inside the drive.

HGST says that the 6 TB drive uses 5.3 watts of power at idle, weighs 640 g, and runs 4-5°C cooler than a standard 3.5-inch five platter 4 TB hard drive. The drive also uses the HGST 7Stac design to reach 6 TB making it the highest capacity hard drive with the best total cost of ownership for cloud storage and other enterprise uses.

Sources: HGST, AllThingsD

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6 TB?!
By zlandar on 11/4/2013 10:22:52 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't even know they had 5 TB HDs. I thought 4 TB was the current max size. Then again I only shop consumer HDs. Enterprise way too rich for my blood.

RE: 6 TB?!
By Argon18 on 11/4/2013 10:49:57 AM , Rating: 1
No, they don't have 5 TB drives. What HGST has done, is take the existing platter density as used in current 4 TB drives, and simply added more platters. It takes 5 platters to make 4 TB. They increased it to 7 platters, which yields 6 TB. Helium facilitates the increase in platter density while retaining the 1" z-height. Read the article bro, it's all there.

RE: 6 TB?!
By deathwombat on 11/4/2013 11:44:54 AM , Rating: 3
The math is a bit off, though. 4 TB / 5 = 800 GB/platter. 6 TB / 7 = 857 GB/platter. Either the platters have a slightly higher areal density, or the 4 TB hard drives actually have 4.2 TB of capacity, but leave 200 GB unused so the capacity has a nice, round number.

RE: 6 TB?!
By Samus on 11/4/2013 12:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
They're simply not using one side of the 7th platter.

RE: 6 TB?!
By djc208 on 11/4/2013 1:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
Also remember that HDD manufacturers don't use formatted volume they use a base 10 value so the formatted volume is always smaller then the stated volume.

RE: 6 TB?!
By deathwombat on 11/4/2013 4:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
I was using the base 10 definition of GB, but to avoid the whole "GB vs. GiB" problem, I'll just bytes.

If five platters have 4 trillion bytes, then each platter has 800 billion bytes. If seven platters have 6 trillion bytes, then each platter has 857 billion bytes.

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