HGST which is a subsidiary of Western Digital has revealed the fourth generation of its helium based drives Ultrastar He12 holding a massive 12 TB of storage space in the standard 3.5-in form factor.
The Ultrastar He12 is meant to help businesses and data centers to manage the increasing data loads, with a faster speed, improved energy efficiency, and better stability. Helium does not sound like the best idea for storage purposes, but according to HGST, it is the power behind speed and stability improvements. The density of helium is a seventh of that of air, which significantly reduces the drag for better power consumption. It helps reduce the size, allowing to pack more disks in the same space. The capacity has increased with the new hard drive as the number of disks with this one has risen to eight.
The previous 10 TB hard drive from HGST was built with the SMR (shingles magnetic recording) technology which allows for improved data density by overlapping tracks instead of keeping them in parallel. The new version, however, uses the previously used perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) system which much more reliable.
The Ultrastar He12 comes either with a 6Gb/s SATA or 12 Gb/s SAS interface. The second one has a backward compatibility for the data centers using the old 6 Gb/s SAS systems. The security is improved with an Instant Secure Erase feature that ensures removal of any sensitive data. The mean time between failures (MTBF) for the new drive is 2.5 million hours which is 0.5 million hours more than its predecessors.
There are no details on the price of the Ultrastar He12, but Western Digital says the drives have already begun shipping.
Source: Western Digital