WD's Ultrastar He10 is world's first 10TB Helium-filled HDD

Remember the days when a 1 TB hard drive was still a rare and expensive treasure? Well, now we're entering into the realm of double digits. And more than that, we're also injecting helium into them. That's exactly what Western Digital is boasting about as it announced the Ultrastar He10, what it bills as the world's first 10 TB hard drive that uses Helium instead of the traditional, plain air inside. Not only does it offer an extraordinarily huge amount of storage space, it also offers the lowest power consumption and highest reliability raiting, says WD.

If Helium-filled hard drives don't sound unfamiliar to you, you might have already come across HGST's hard drives. As it happens, the storage maker is actually a subsidiary of Wester DIgital. Back in March, HGST was already flaunting such a Helium-filled 10TB hard drive. One difference between then and now is that HGST's earlier drive used Shingled Magnetic Recording or SMR. The Ultrastar He10, on the other hand, still uses the more conventional Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR). In use cases, SMR is better for long-term, rarely used data storage, like for archiving. PMR, however, is more suited for 24/7 online, always used storage and access.

Hard drive storage makers have started to use Helium in their hard drives instead of just air. The gas reduces the friction that commonly happens in the use of mechanical parts when reading and writing data, a problem that is nonexistent with solid-state drives or SSDs. Helium-filled HDDs translate to overall better reliability in the lifetime of the drive.

This actually isn't WD's first Helium-filled rodeo, with the Ultrastar He10 actually it's third generation drive to make use of its HelioSeal platform. Because of the benefits above, WD's HelioSeal HDDs have been the go to storage solution of companies that need large capacities at low power consumption, like Netflix, who says it has been a long time beneficiary of HGST's HelioSeal drives, which were previously available only in 4 to 8 GB densities.

SOURCE: Western Digital