Western Digital, a leading maker of hard disk drives, on Tuesday announced the formal beginning of shipments of its hard disk drives solid-state hybrid drives that are only 5mm thick (compared to standard 7mm and 9.5mm mobile drives). The new drives are designed for ultra-slim personal computers that require affordable storage space of around 500GB.
“With the launch of our new WD Blue 5 mm ultra slim hard drives and our WD Black SSHD products, currently shipping to OEMs, WD is delivering to our customers a variety of solutions that maximize storage capacity and volumetric efficiency, as well as performance and system responsiveness, for consumers. Our 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,” said Matt Rutledge, vice president of WD’s client computing business unit.
The world’s first 2.5”/5mm WD Blue hard disk drives feature one 500GB platter, 16GB DRAM cache, Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface. Exact specs of WD Black 5mm SSHD are currently unavailable, but they should be generally similar to its brother that comes without NAND flash buffer. The WD Blue and WD Black 5mm drives deliver unprecedented operation and non-operation shock specifications with 400G and 1000G, respectively. Both drives utilize a number of innovations that were necessary to make them just 5mm thin.
An ultra-slim design that does not compromise, WD Blue was designed with stronger aluminum materials and a harder Tied-Shaft motor which increases drive pinch strength as much as 30%. These advanced engineering improvements allow for a more rigid structure without degrading performance or increasing power consumption.
WD Blue 5mm hard drives 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.
The drives implement StableTrac technology; the motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platter for accurate tracking during read and write operations which enables consistently higher performance. The HDD and SSHD also boast with dual stage actuators technology that provides 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.
Shipping today to select industrial distributors and OEM customers in 500 GB capacities, WD Blue 2.5”/5mm hard drive (WD5000MPCK) has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $89.00. WD Blue 2.5”/5mm hard drives are covered by a two-year limited warranty. 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.
Both drives will emerge inside select laptops from Acer Group and Asustek Computer this fall. Mass availability of 5mm thick storage devices is scheduled for calendar 2014, as previously reported.