/// Western Digital Adds Something New to Hard Drives: Helium

November 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital


When you think about it, aside from the fact that, over time, they increase in capacity while getting cheaper, there’s not that much new about hard drives. They store our digital stuff, occasionally give out, and that’s pretty much that. But today, Western Digital is going to announce something a little different and interesting in the world of enterprise hard drives, and you should probably pay attention to it. Starting today, it will begin shipping hard drives packed with helium — as in the inert gas that makes balloons float, makes people’s voices sound funny, and which happens to be the second-most-abundant element in the known universe , after hydrogen. It turns out that the insides of hard drives are pretty violent places. There’s a lot of high-speed motion, what with the disk platters spinning at several thousand rotations per minute, and the head moving back and forth across its surface. If you’ve ever held your arm out the window of a fast-moving car, you get some sense of the problem. All that drag from the air limits the number of disk platters that can be stacked inside a single drive. Right now, the standard calls for five platters inside a one-inch-high drive enclosure. Building a sealed drive that’s packed with helium eliminates that drag, and thus allowed for platters to be packed inside the enclosure more tightly

Read the original post:
Western Digital Adds Something New to Hard Drives: Helium



Leave a Reply