Hard drive vendor Western Digital is shipping its slimmest hard drive in its history. At 2.5-inch, 5 mm, this hard drive is a solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) designed for integration into the slimmest devices and space-constrained computing environments on the market today.
With 500 GB of storage capacity and models with high performance-enabling solid state hybrid drive technology, this slim product line helps to address the tradeoffs system designers often make between capacity, physical size and performance.
Matt Rutledge, vice president of Western Digital’s client computing business unit, said with the launch of the WD Blue 5 mm ultra slim hard drives and the WD Black SSHD products, currently shipping to OEMs, the company is delivering to customers a variety of solutions that maximize storage capacity and volumetric efficiency, as well as performance and system responsiveness. The engineering team took a clean-sheet approach with 5 mm to deliver an ultra-thin hard drive that enables a world of possibilities and applications for mobile computing and beyond.
Western Digital designed the new WD Blue and WD Black 5 mm drives to enable new levels of device portability, the company said. The new drives are aimed to increase internal storage capacity while enabling it to fit into smaller device slots. In addition, the slimmer and more portable the device, the more vulnerable the hard drive is to user-induced stress. To battle this, Western Digital has designed key enablers to the 5 mm form factor:
- Ultra-slim Form Factor – 5 mm height with compact connector offers system designers a greater degree of chassis design freedom. This ultra-slim form factor reduces weight by up to 36 per cent compared with a standard 9.5 mm drive.
- Acoustics and Shock – acoustics use technologies that reduce noise when the drive is active or idle. The WD Blue and WD Black 5 mm drives operate on shock specifications of 400 G and 1,000G, respectively.
- Edge Card Technology – the connector and board utilizes cell phone miniaturization technology to maximize the mechanical sway space in the hard drive and ensure shock performance.
- Edge Card Connector – WD Blue 5 mm hard drives also feature the first application of a new small form factor SFF-8784 edge connector. This new connector receives power from and interfaces with the host I/O bus via the SATA interface connector SFF-8784.
- StableTrac – the motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations which enables consistently higher performance.
- Dual Stage Actuator – enterprise dual stage actuators provide two actuators that improve positional accuracy over the data track(s). The primary actuator provides coarse displacement using conventional electromagnetic actuator principles. The secondary actuator uses piezoelectric motion to fine tune the head positioning to a higher degree of accuracy.
The WD Blue 2.5-inch 5 mm hard drives comes in at $89, while the WD Black SSHD versions are currently shipping to OEM’s and integrators with both WD proprietary hybrid technology and industry standard SATA I/O technology. No pricing is available on the WD Black units.