Western Digital working on 20,000rpm HDD to rival SSD

Jun 6, 2008
Western Digital working on 20,000rpm HDD to rival SSD

Last Friday, when Seagate announced its intention to build Enterprise-level SSDs, iSuppli analyst Krishna Chander described rival Western Digital as "too deeply lost" in traditional hard-drives.  Today, rumors are spreading that WD, far from being "lost", are in fact planning a platter-based alternative to high-speed solid-state storage.  According to sources close to the hard-drive industry, WD are working on a new unit in the company's Raptor range that would run at an astonishing 20,000rpm. 

The drive, reportedly in development, is apparently a 2.5-inch model with a custom 3.5-inch 'caddy' similar to that of the VelociRaptor VR150.  However, where the VR150's casing acted merely as a heat-sink, the new 20,000rpm Raptor would also serve as noise-reduction; Western Digital are, according to the sources, looking to market the drive as "silent".

Platter-based drives have always been cheaper than SSDs, but analysts are predicting that the solid-state market will develop a lower entry-price over the next 12-18 months.  It's tough to tell whether this is Western Digital putting all their eggs in the HDD basket or, more cunningly, using the high-speed drive as a stop-gap while they fund their own SSD development. 

More on Computing