WD mingles flash memory and really hard drive in a single storage device

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Western Digital has announced a new architecture that will combine the advantages of the speed of flash memory chips and the density of really hard disk drives in a single item for enterprises and customers.

The OptiNAND technologies integrates really hard disk drives (HDD) with iNAND flash memory chips. WD mentioned this will give shoppers on each the enterprise side and the customers side the capability to retailer vast amounts of more information in a bid to maintain up with the exponential development of information in the coming years. WD announced the innovations that it mentioned break the barriers of classic storage at its on the net occasion today.

Ravi Pendekanti, senior vice president of HDD item management and promoting at WD, mentioned in an interview with VentureBeat that shoppers in locations such as hyperscale cloud, communications firms, enterprises, clever video surveillance partners, network-attached storage (NAS) suppliers, and more will need a lot more capacity, efficiency, and reliability. And WD’s program to do that is to leverage the advantages of each really hard drives, which can retailer a lot of information, and flash, which can access information speedily.

“We are confident at this time that we will reach 50 terabytes by the second half of this decade compared to 20 terabytes today,” mentioned Pendekanti.


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The brewing issue with information storage has develop into acute as HDD architectures now include as a lot memory and processing energy as PCs from the early 2000s.

In the next 5 years, WD expects to see more information designed than twice as a lot as the quantity of information that has been designed all through computing history, Pendekanti mentioned.

“To address this, we went back in and started looking at what is that that we can do next. It was about integrating NAND into our hard drives,” Pendekanti mentioned. “What it really does to us is it really does improve helps us improve the capacity of our drives. It helps us improve the performance. And it also improves the reliability.”

Hot and warm

Image Credit: WD

Before OptiNAND, flash (non-volatile) memory in an HDD was utilised mostly for booting and storing tiny amounts of metadata. As HDD storage architecture has develop into more sophisticated, the addition of a flash layer is a logical step in the system’s memory hierarchy.

The teams worked on the tech for a couple of years, ever due to the fact WD acquired flash maker Sandisk.

“We learned from some of the earlier pitfalls we mentioned,” Pendekanti mentioned.

In the previous, the hybrid answer was to create “hot” information to the restricted memory of the flash chips. If it was “warm” information, it could go onto the disk itself. But it wasn’t generally quick to distinguish hot from warm in terms of information that had to be accessed speedily.

“In the past, with the hybrid drives, the two technologies were brought in, but they were not fully vertically integrated,” mentioned Carl Che, chief technologies officer at the HDD company unit at WD, in an interview. “The keyword is vertical integration. And that’s where I think the biggest pitfall was. And somebody also had to understand what kind of data it was (hot or warm).”

He added, ” Today, we are vertically integrating each the flash and the disk side. We are not getting any person do guesswork. And that is a massive shift.”

Flash is more price-productive than DRAM (dynamic random access memory, or key memory), with information persistence across energy cycles. Flash
also supplies more rapidly access than disk, enabling time-sensitive calculations to be performed when maintaining the disk no cost to execute host operations.

The new OptiNAND-enabled memory hierarchy utilizes the drive technique-on-chip (SoC) to handle communication with the iNAND EFD. With OptiNAND, important drive housekeeping functions can take benefit of an improve in metadata capability. This can decrease future DRAM desires as nicely as allow more sophisticated mechanisms to attain higher capacities, elevated efficiency and enhanced reliability.

Triple-stage actuator

1630427105 814 WD mingles flash memory and hard drive in a single

Image Credit: WD

WD enhanced the precision of HDD heads with a triple-stage actuator (TSA) technologies, which enables superior precision for a recording head on an HDD. That enables larger areal density by means of elevated tracks per inch (TPI) to provide the highest capacities. HDDs create gigabytes of metadata that can be utilized to improve areal density.

This information is as well massive to be price-properly maintained in DRAM when retrieving this information on-demand from disk interferes with host operations and efficiency. OptiNAND enables price-effective storage and quick access to this enormous quantity of metadata that can be stored and accessed in actual time, freeing up useful space on the rotating media for user information.

In the occasion of an EPO, OptiNAND can securely flush and retain almost 50 occasions more buyer information than prior generation HDDs that flush information to DRAM. Meanwhile, OptiNAND technologies will extend the capability of power-assisted PMR (ePMR) for various generations, enabling shoppers to continue benefiting from a established recording technologies.

With the combined technologies, WD will be capable to retailer 2.2 terabytes (TB) per really hard disk platter, extending capacities gains on established ePMR technologies.

“We see a path to the first three-terabyte drives using this technology,” Pendekanti mentioned. “We are feeling confident about it.”

Setting a new sector milestone, Western Digital has shipped samples of a new nine-disk, 20TB ePMR flash-enhanced drives with OptiNAND technologies to choose shoppers. (A terabyte is one trillion bytes).

“All the data on the hard drive really is about maximizing the whole capacity. So, this is a structure designed for future uses,” he mentioned.


The new flash-enhanced drive architecture with OptiNAND technologies will be out there across the company’s portfolio of drives and storage platforms. It will also serve as the foundation for future styles and innovations, with additional advances to come in intelligence, reliability, capacity, and time-to-industry worth. The corporation will commence announcing industry-particular, objective-constructed merchandise across its portfolio later this year.

“We are introducing new technologies that will actually persist for multiple generations of products,” Pendekanti mentioned. “We will focus on the technology today. And then in the months ahead will come out and talk to us about specific products that use this technology.”

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz