HGST has introduced a new helium-filled hard disk drive platform, which significantly increases storage capacity and reduces total cost of ownership for enterprise and cloud customers. Thanks to this new technology HGST can 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.
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. The lower helium density also means that the fluid flow forces buffeting the disks and the arms, which position the heads over the data tracks, are substantially reduced allowing for disks to be placed closer together (i.e., seven disks in the same enclosure) and to place data tracks closer together (i.e., allowing continued scaling in data density). The lower shear forces and more efficient thermal conduction of helium also mean the drive will run cooler and will emit less acoustic noise.
Taking into account the extra capacity coming from two additional disks in Helium-filled drive, the improvement in watts-per-TB is 45 percent. In addition to consuming less power, the drive operates four degrees Celsius cooler, requiring less cooling in the system rack and data centre.
HGST will release specific capacities points and product specifications when the platform launches in 2013.