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Noble Gas Boosts Hard Drive Capacity to 6TB

Western Digital (WD) has pushed capacity to a record-setting 6TB for a new lineup of hard drives that are filled with helium gas.

Hard drive manufacturers had been stalled at the 4TB limit until Western Digital’s HGST unit developed a new approach.

The HelioSeal platform uses lighter-than-air helium to reduce friction inside the device and pumps capacity up by 50 percent in the new products, which are being introduced for use in corporate and enterprise data centers. Prices have not yet been announced.

DriveSavers is already working on data recovery procedures to deal with this new storage technology.

The new Ultrastar He6 enterprise-class 6TB hard drive model runs 23 percent faster and is 38 percent lighter than its 4TB predecessor. The advances are mostly due to the use of helium, which helps cut drag and friction on the new drive’s hermetically sealed internal components. The  6TB unit writes data to a stack of 7 hard disks vs. a 5-disk stack in the 4TB model.

“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 for HGST, a division of Western Digital.

“Not only is our new Ultrastar helium hard drive helping customers solve data center challenges today, our mainstream helium platform will serve as the future building block for new products and technologies moving forward,” Collins said. “This is a huge feat and we are gratified by the support of our customers in the development of this platform.”

For more details, click here to read the WD press release.

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