At its HDD Reimagine event Western Digital has introduced a new flash-enhanced drive architecture with OptiNAND technology enabling the integration of HDDs with iNAND embedded flash drives. Providing a solution “to meet the exponential growth in data creation by delivering the capacity, performance and reliability needed to store vast amounts of data today and well into the future” explains Western Digital.
“Western Digital has a history of hard drive architecture innovations, such as when HGST (now part of Western Digital) first hermetically sealed and shipped helium HDDs in 2013,” said Ed Burns, research director for hard disk drives at IDC. “Driven by the growth of AI, ML, blockchain, IoT, sensors and more, there’s no doubt that new storage innovations are needed to store and protect today’s data growth, especially at scale. As the only company manufacturing both flash and HDDs, Western Digital can uniquely leverage their in-house capabilities to extend the areal density curve of ePMR drives for generations to come, helping customers meet the growing demands of a digital economy.”
WD Flash-Enhanced Drive with OptiNAND Technology
Different to a hybrid drive where flash is used to store user data, the new architecture works differently, by adding vertically integrated iNAND to HDDs, with enhanced firmware algorithms. Western Digital’s flash-enhanced drives with OptiNAND technology deliver improved capacity, performance and reliability offering :
– Capacity: The drive works smarter, with enhanced firmware algorithms taking advantage of expanded metadata that has been offloaded to the iNAND, enabling more tracks per inch (TPI) with resulting increased areal density.
– Performance: Drive latency is improved with proprietary optimizations to drive firmware focused on requiring fewer adjacent track interference (ATI) refreshes and reducing the need for write cache flushes in write cache-enabled mode.
– Reliability: Nearly 50x more customer data can be retained in the event of an emergency power off (EPO) scenario, and with Western Digital’s unique capabilities in vertically integrated supply, design, development, testing and qualification of flash-enhanced drives, customers can count on the drive’s reliability.
Architecture is a natural extension
“This new architecture is a natural extension of Western Digital’s strengths and capabilities, delivering a new evolution of storage to the market,” said Billy Chen, vice president of New H3C Group, president of Compute and Storage Product Line. “As an early customer, the OptiNAND technology is exciting as it will help us meet our storage needs for years to come.”
“With our IP and world-class development teams in HDD and flash, we are able to continuously push the boundaries of innovation to improve our customers’ storage infrastructure,” said Siva Sivaram, president of Global Technology and Strategy, Western Digital. “We have had an extraordinary journey of HDD innovation. We changed everything with HelioSeal in 2013; were first to ship energy-assisted HDDs in volume in 2019; and now we’re going to lead again with OptiNAND technology. This architecture will underpin our HDD technology roadmap for multiple generations as we expect that an ePMR HDD with OptiNAND will reach 50TB1 in the second half of the decade.”
Source : Business Wire
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