HGST, a company of Western Digital, has begun shipping its helium-filled 6TB hard disk drives. First announced in September 2012, the Ultrastar He6 also features the company's 7Stac disk design, enabling it to fit 7 drive platters for a total capacity of 6 terabytes (TB).
By leveraging on the benefits of helium, the company is able to push forward by exploring "new technologies like shingled magnetic recording (SMR) and heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR)", so that HDD areal density growth rates can be maintained or risk stagnation.
The immediate benefit of the Ultrastar He6 is its lower total cost of ownership (TCO), when compared to a typical 3.5-inch, five-platter 4TB HDD. The new drive offers 50% more capacity, an increment of 2TB, while retaining the same form factor. Therefore, the newer HDD offers higher density storage footprint. It also weighs 38% lighter at 640g. In terms of operation, the Ultrastar He6 touts a lower idle power draw at 5.3W, and operates 4 to 5 degrees Celsius cooler than the normal 4TB drive.
HGST claims they are able to cost effectively manufacture helium-filled drives in high volume. At the same time, they have also worked with key storage industry partners to ensure these drives are able to meet their stringent requirements. The company has also identified cold storage as the next immediate growth sector, whereby corporations and institutions archive their data for long periods of time. The Ultrastar He6 is available for sale now. For more product information, please follow this link.
(Source: HGST via BusinessWire)