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Data Storage

Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium 147

Lucas123 (935744) writes "Seagate has released what it said is the industry's fastest hard drive with up to a 6TB capacity, matching one released by WD last year. WD's 6TB Ultrastar He6 was hermetically sealed with helium inside, something the company said was critical to reducing friction for additional platters, while also increasing power savings and reliability. Seagate, however, said it doesn't yet need to rely on Helium to achieve the 50% increase in capacity over its last 4TB drive. The company used the same perpendicular magnetic recording technology that it has on previous models, but it was able to increase areal density from 831 bits per square inch to 1,000. The new drive also comes in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB capacities and with either 12Gbps SAS or 6Gbps SATA connectivity. The six-platter, enterprise-class drive is rated to sustain about 550TB of writes per year — 10X that of a typical desktop drive."
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Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

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  • by PaulBu ( 473180 ) on Monday April 07, 2014 @07:36PM (#46689379) Homepage

    I thought that in 21st century we are talking about Gbits/inch^2, not just bits...

    Paul B.

  • "relying" on helium (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07, 2014 @07:51PM (#46689511)

    Seagate, however, said it doesn't yet need to rely on Helium to achieve the 50% increase in capacity over it's last 4TB drive

    Seagate previously made 4 x 1 TB platters and 5 x 800 GB platters. Now this drive stores 1.25 TB per platter (according to El Reg [theregister.co.uk]). I bet WD/HGST can replicate that very easily... 7 x 1.25 = 8.75 TB. From what we know Seagate could use shingles (shingled magnetic recording) to boost capacity but with a penalty to write speed. There was also a suggestion they could cram 6 platters in a drive without helium. Both companies are working on HAMR to replace PMR in the coming years.

    It's not that WD is relying on helium, it's that WD has better technology than Seagate. By including two more platters, WD can match Seagate's capacity with older PMR platters.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07, 2014 @07:51PM (#46689513)

    actually, the drives aren't usually sealed. there's a porous frit plug that allows the pressure inside and outside to be equalized, and which has pores small enough not to let water vapor in.

    Designing a hermetic container that lasts for years is non-trivial, particularly one to hold Helium, which has very, very small atoms that can go through the interstices in the metal. By comparison, pulling a vacuum would be easier, but disk drives need something to fly the heads on. He is nice because it is also very low viscosity

  • by SpankiMonki ( 3493987 ) on Monday April 07, 2014 @08:11PM (#46689631)
    Better check your math on that. It's actually 1Tb/inch^2.
  • Re:obsolete (Score:5, Informative)

    by WuphonsReach ( 684551 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @12:11AM (#46690941)
    Does anyone buy platters of very slow piles of rust anymore?

    For bulk storage (measured in terabytes and petabytes), platters of spinning rust are the only economical solution. So for a secondary storage SAN where capacity is more important then IOPS, you fill it out with spinning rust. A 4TB enterprise SATA 7200RPM drive is about $330 right now, or about $0.08/GB. The cheapest enterprise SSDs are about 10x-20x that price.

    Rust is also better for drives (or tapes) used as backups. It has better shelf stability then a SSD. Most SSDs will start to lose data after a few months of being disconnected (maybe as few as 6 months). Barring mechanical issues, traditional magnetic media holds up well over the span of years (at least a decade in most case).

    Now I just wish WD would come out with a 2TB 10k RPM SATA Velociraptor 3.5" drive...
  • by cpm99352 ( 939350 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @02:02AM (#46691377)
    There was a time when Seagate was a gold standard, but nowadays certainly not. I would not trust a Seagate drive if someone gave it to me. A truly sad state of affairs. I just pity the consumers who don't know any better. Even worse that they're now tarnishing the Hitachi brand.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."