We didn't see this coming. WD has made a new range of hard drives (and SSDs) in a new, thin, form factor. Fancy 500GB in an ultra-thin ultra book? Look no further
For some years now SSDs have been sweeping across the storage landscape, but hard disks have remained competitive in the price per gigabyte stakes. In some areas, though, hard disks have been left behind. Ultra-thin notebooks have had to move to SSDs because they were the only option thin enough to fit in. But owners have struggled with the meagre amount of storage available.
If only hard disks could be thinner…
Half a terabyte
Which must have been exactly what WD were thinking when they designed their WD Blue™ 5 mm ultra slim hard drives and similarly slender SSDs.
With a capacity of 500GB, these drives will be a welcome relief to laptop owners who've struggled with the typically much smaller SSD sizes for some time.
Here are the details in full, in WD's press release.
WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) company and world leader in storage and connected-life products, today announced it is shipping the world’s first ultra-slim 2.5-inch, 5 mm hard drives and solid state hybrid drives (SSHD), which are designed for integration into the slimmest devices and space-constrained computing environments. With 500 GB of storage capacity and models with high performance-enabling solid state hybrid drive technology, this slim product line helps to address the trade-offs’ system designers often make between capacity, physical size and performance.
“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 maximise storage capacity and volumetric efficiency, as well as performance and system responsiveness, for consumers,” said Matt Rutledge, vice president of WD’s client computing business unit. “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.”
WD designed the new WD Blue and WD Black 5 mm drives to enable new levels of device portability. The new drives are aimed at increasing internal storage capacity while enabling it to fit into smaller device slots. In addition, the slimmer and more portable the device, the more vulnerable the hard drive is to user-induced stress. To battle this, WD has designed key enablers to the 5 mm form factor:
Ultra-slim Form Factor – 5 mm height with compact connector offers system designers a greater degree of chassis design freedom. This ultra-slim form factor reduces weight by up to 36 per cent compared with a standard 9.5 mm drive.
Best-in-class Acoustics and Shock – WD’s best-in-class acoustics use technologies that reduce noise when the drive is active or idle. The WD Blue and WD Black 5 mm drives deliver unprecedented operation and non-operation shock specifications with 400 G and 1000G, respectively.
Edge Card Technology – WD designed the connector and board utilizing cell phone miniaturisation technology to maximise the mechanical sway space in the hard drive and ensure shock performance.
Edge Card Connector – WD Blue 5 mm hard drives also 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.
StableTrac™ – The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilise platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations which enables consistently higher performance.
Dual Stage Actuator – Leading-edge enterprise dual stage actuators provide 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.
Price and Availability
Shipping today to select industrial distributors and OEM customers in 500 GB capacities, WD Blue 2.5-inch 5 mm hard drives, (model: WD5000MPCK) has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $89.00 USD. WD Blue 2.5-inch 5 mm 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.