Western Digital Joins the 1TB HDD Club

The company touts its new cadre of low-power, low-heat drives as environmentally friendly.

Disk drive and storage appliance maker Western Digital joined a growing number of IT hardware manufacturers this week by launching a set of new environmentally friendly products—in this case, a new line of low-power desktop, enterprise and external hard drives.

The GreenPower hard drives, introduced July 23, will ship in capacities from 320GB to 1TB, and are designed to save up to 40 percent in power consumption, Western Digital spokesperson Steve Shattuck said.

Western Digital, based in Lake Forest, Calif., joins Seagate Technology, Samsung and Hitachi Data Systems as current suppliers of 1TB hard drives. Analysts expect more companies to be announcing drives of 1TB capacity or more in the months to come.

"I think its a major milestone, in the sense that we have now gotten into the terabyte range," Ted Deffenbaugh, senior vice president of business and product marketing for Western Digital, told eWEEK.

"For quite a while—if you would rewind the clock maybe four to five years—people said: Will we ever produce a 1TB drive? And there were even some individuals who said, I dont know where in the world I would find enough data to store in a 1TB drive.

"As weve seen the applications emerge, and as weve seen people downloading more video and photos to their local drives, were actually finding out that people will not only demand 1TB, but they will quickly devour 1TB drives," Deffenbaugh said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about EMC introducing services to improve data center energy efficiency.

The size race is going to continue on, straight through 1TB, Deffenbaugh said. "Well probably be talking during the next five years about, Will we ever get to a petabyte worth of information?", he said.

The GreenPower drives use an automated balance of spin speed, transfer rate and cache size to deliver power savings, and they enable lower power consumption, by automatically unloading the heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag, Deffenbaugh said.

The first Western Digital drive to use the GreenPower technology is the Caviar GP 1TB hard drive, which will ship in July in the companys own My Book storage appliances. Channel shipments of Caviar will follow in August.

GreenPower versions of Western Digital RE enterprise drives and Western Digital AV consumer electronics drives will ship in volume during the third quarter, Deffenbaugh said.

While other 1TB hard drives typically have power consumption of 13.5 watts, GreenPower hard drives use about 5 watts—or 37 percent—less, reducing heat, power consumption and cost, Deffenbaugh said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Hewlett-Packards plan to develop hardware that reduces energy and cooling costs by 50 percent.

Pricing was not made available because the products wont be hitting the channel until August, Shattuck told eWEEK. But he said that the new 1TB drives will be "competitive" with similar products in the market.

Seagate is marketing its 1TB drive at $399.

For more information on the new drives, go here.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...