Western Digital unveils 20TB hard drives

Western Digital 20TB HDD
(Image credit: Western Digital)
Audio player loading…

Western Digital has unveiled not one but two 20TB hard disk drives (HDDs (opens in new tab)) with its new Ultrastar DC HC560 and WD Gold HDD.

Both of the company's new large capacity drives (opens in new tab) are available in the standard 3.5-inch form factor and feature its proprietary OptiNAND technology. OptiNAND (opens in new tab) integrates INAND Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Embedded Flash Drive (EFD) with traditional spinning disks which allows a total of 20TB to be packed onto nine platters with each platter containing 2.2TB of storage.

At the same time, both the 20TB Ultrastar DC HC560 and the 20TB WD Gold HDD utilize Energy-Assisted Magentic Recording (EAMR (opens in new tab)), HelioSeal technology to reduce air drag on the rotating platters and a triple-stage actuator (TSA).

President of global technology and strategy at Western Digital, Siva Sivaram provided further insight on these technologies in a blog post (opens in new tab) published back in August of this year, saying:

“With our IP and world-class development teams in HDD and flash, we are able to continuously push the boundaries of innovation to improve our customers’ storage infrastructure. We have had an extraordinary journey of HDD innovation. We changed everything with HelioSeal in 2013; were first to ship energy-assisted HDDs in volume in 2019; and now we’re going to lead again with OptiNAND technology. This architecture will underpin our HDD technology roadmap for multiple generations as we expect that an ePMR HDD with OptiNAND will reach 50TB1 in the second half of the decade.”

Western Digital 20TB HDDs

Although most PC (opens in new tab) users have made the switch to solid state drives (SSDs (opens in new tab)) for their storage needs due to their increased speeds, hard disk drives along with magnetic tape (opens in new tab) are still frequently used to store large amounts of data.

While Western Digital's new HDDs feature the same amount of storage, their intended use cases are a bit different. The Ultrastar DC HC560 will likely be used by cloud storage providers and in small business servers (opens in new tab), business security systems (opens in new tab) and NAS devices (opens in new tab) while its WD Gold HDD is designed for enterprise businesses running heavy-duty workloads for extended periods.

The 20TB WD Gold HDD will retail for $679.99 ( around £506) while Western Digital has yet to announce a price for the Ultrastar DC HC560 though its predecessor (the Ultrastar DC HC550 (opens in new tab)) is currently available for around $400 (around £298) though it only has 18TB of storage.

We've rounded up the best HDDs (opens in new tab), best SSDs (opens in new tab) and best large capacity drives (opens in new tab)

Via ZDNet (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.