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HGST announces 6TB drive Helium filled


schoondoggy
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OK, a couple of things;

  1. If air turbulence is such a big deal (like the announcement says) why has no one produced a vacuum sealed HDD?
     
  2. I wonder if everyone in the factory sounds like Daffy Duck when they talk :D

     
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A cushion of air between the head and platter is created when the drive spins. In a He drive the components need to be a bit stronger. In a vacuum drive there would be no cushion so the components would need to be much more rigid. This could also effect shock and vibration specs. Bearing technology would need to be changed to handle the vacuum as well.

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Sorry, wasn't clear enough. What I meant was to lower the pressure enough to simulate the density of He, or maybe even a bit less, but not a total vacuum -- that would be impractical simply from the point that the chassis would have to be too heavy & strong.

 

I'm not sure I get why the components would need to be stronger in an He drive. If there's less turbulence, wouldn't it be possible to use even weaker components (not that I'm advocating weaker components)? And aren't the best bearings using magnetic suspension these days: i.e. the parts don't even touch?

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Instead of strong I should have said rigid. Helium is not as dense as air, so the cushion would be different. I am not sure if anyone is using magnetic bearings on drives yet.

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You guys buy out the first production run and let us know how it work.  Helium is about 1/7 as dense as air which allows them to put more platters in the same space.....until you spring a leak.

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For those interested, here's part of a nice write-up from hgst's site - http://www.hgst.com/press-room/press-releases/hgst-announces-radically-new-helium-filled-hard-disk-drive-platform :

 

"The density of helium is one-seventh that of air, delivering significant advantages to HGST’s sealed-drive platform. The lower density means dramatically less drag force acting on the spinning disk stack so that mechanical power into the motor is substantially reduced. The lower helium density also means that the fluid flow forces buffeting the disks and the arms, which position the heads over the data tracks, are substantially reduced allowing for disks to be placed closer together (i.e., seven disks in the same enclosure) and to place data tracks closer together (i.e., allowing continued scaling in data density). The lower shear forces and more efficient thermal conduction of helium also mean the drive will run cooler and will emit less acoustic noise."

 

Sounds like they're saying that the head rides closer to the platter in the helium fill HDD. So they can squeeze everything in, add more platters.

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