10TB helium-filled hard drive to ease your storage woes

Western Digital's HGST division is the first out with a 10TB enterprise-grade hard drive.

Need to increase the density of your storage? How about the new 10TB helium-filled hard drive from Western Digital's HGST division.

Meet the Ultrastar He10.

In order to cram so much storage into the footprint of a standard hard drive, the makers have had to go to extremes. First there's the helium gas filling that is supposed to improve power efficiency by up to 56 percent.

There's also an increase in the number of platters. The Ultrastar He10 has seven platters despite being no thicker than a normal drive (1-inch).

Finally, the traditional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technique of writing the data to the platters have been replaced with shingled magnetic recording (SMR), which overlaps the tracks of data written to the platter. This increases the data density from around 100GB per square inch to 1000GB per square inch.

A drawback to this is that the tracks are now so close that when writing one track, the adjacent tracks must sometimes be rewritten.

But storage of this magnitude doesn't come cheap, and a single drive will set you back $800. And being an enterprise-grade drive, this comes with a generous 5-year warranty.

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