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Western Digital, the world’s second largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), announced on Tuesday its new mainstream hard drive that features a new type of platters, which will eventually enable to company to create 1.3TB HDDs. New capacities of storage devices will help WD to catch up with its rivals Seagate, Samsung and Hitachi GST, who have been offering 1TB hard drives for desktops for about a year now.

The new WD Caviar 320GB hard disk drive with 16MB cache and Serial ATA-300 interconnection features only one platter with 250Gb/inch areal density. In fact, neither the platter’s capacity or areal density are something new for the whole industry: two Japan-based platter makers have been shipping 334GB platters for about half a year and Samsung Electronics even released a 1TB hard drive based on those platters in Summer ’07.

However, the new WD-developed platters not only open the door for the company’s ~1TB HDD, but enable Western Digital to create 1.3TB hard disk drives using four platters.

“The 320 GB-per-platter technology will be deployed across WD's desktop, enterprise, CE and external hard drive product lines, including additional capacity points, throughout this calendar year,” a statement by the company reads.

In fact, Western Digital already offers WD RE2-GP 1TB hard disk drives based on four 250GB platters, but those products are mainly intended for enterprises and can boast with low power consumption, but exceptionally high performance.

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