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Western Digital Builds on Data Center Leadership to Deliver 18TB CMR and 20TB SMR HDDs in the First Half of 2020

Western Digital’s new 9-disk platform with energy-assisted recording delivers the world’s highest capacity HDDs to OEM and hyperscale data center customers. (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Industry-leading Areal Density Will Provide Best Storage TCO, Powering the Zettabyte Age

News Highlights:

  • Continued strong demand from the Capacity Enterprise HDD market with estimated exabyte shipments for the industry to grow 36 percent annually between CY 2018 and CY 20231
  • Western Digital is combining a new nine-disk platform and energy-assisted recording to deliver the world’s highest capacity drives to OEM and hyperscale data center customers
  • Western Digital will be sampling the 18TB CMR Ultrastar® DC HC550 and 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs by the end of this year 

Addressing the TCO requirements of data center customers, Western Digital (WDC) announced its nine-disk mechanical platform, which includes energy-assisted recording technology and maintains the company’s areal density leadership while delivering the highest capacity available. The company will sample the 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD and the 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD to select customers by the end of 2019 with production ramp expected in the first half of 2020.

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This rapid ramp and availability of the 20TB SMR drive following a technology preview in June 2019, supports a growing ecosystem and the continued industry adoption of SMR. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes shipped will be on SMR by 2023.2

“At Dropbox, we are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and power in our data centers,” said Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox. “We’re excited to see SMR drives reach a 20TB capacity point, which will enable us to power collaboration and deliver long-term value to our customers.”

Western Digital will offer a unique and full portfolio of Capacity Enterprise HDDs, with cost-optimized configurations for every important capacity point: six-disk 10TB Ultrastar DC HC330 air-based HDD; eight-disk 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 helium-based HDD; nine-disk 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 helium-based HDD; and a nine-disk 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 helium-based HDD. The company’s strong execution has resulted in a rapid ramp and majority share at its capacity point for the Ultrastar DC HC530 HDD3, the industry’s only available eight-disk 14TB CMR drive. According to TRENDFOCUS, 14TB will continue to be the industry’s dominant capacity point through the first half of 2020.1

“Western Digital continues to innovate to deliver efficient, purpose-built storage with excellent TCO with the optimal combination of industry-leading areal density, mechanical innovations and materials advancements,” said Christopher Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Devices, Western Digital. “Leveraging our success in bringing energy-assisted recording to market with our expertise in mechanical design, we can deliver this scalable HDD platform with significant capacity increases to our customers, particularly in the transition from 14TB to 18TB.”

John Chen, vice president at TRENDFOCUS, said, “As data continues to pour into the data center, there is an appetite for meaningful capacity increases that ultimately achieve better TCO. Western Digital has chosen capacity points of 10TB/14TB/18TB built around six-, eight- and nine-disk platforms to provide sufficient segmentation for the increasingly complex workloads driving the next wave of hyperscale growth.”

Rick Kutcipal, product line manager, Data Center Solutions Group at Broadcom, said, “We continue to collaborate with Western Digital to deliver host-managed SMR and traditional CMR HDD high-capacity solutions across a broad ecosystem. Broadcom is a leading supplier of enterprise storage infrastructure. Our goal is to enable customers to create optimal infrastructure designs that reduce risk while lowering total system cost. By continuing to deliver the highest capacities, Western Digital and Broadcom will enable customers to reap both time-to-market and TCO benefits for generations to come."

Availability

Western Digital’s 10TB Ultrastar DC HC330 and 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 are available now. The company will sample the 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD and the Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD in 18TB and 16TB capacities to select customers by the end of this year, with qualification and volume shipments beginning in the first half of 2020.

Resources:

SMR: What we learned in our first year
One Year Later…Dropbox Continues to Innovate with Western Digital

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About Western Digital

Western Digital creates environments for data to thrive. As a leader in data infrastructure, the company is driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data. Our data-centric solutions are comprised of the Western Digital®, G-Technology™, SanDisk®, and WD® brands.

  1. TRENDFOCUS : Cloud, Hyperscale, and Enterprise Storage Service, CQ2’19 Quarterly Update and Revised Long-Term Forecast – August 21, 2019
  2. Western Digital internal modeling data February and April 2019
  3. Internal Western Digital data and calculations based on TRENDFOCUS CQ2‘19 Quarterly Update and Revised Long-Term Forecast

As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.

© 2019 Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Western Digital, the Western Digital logo and Ultrastar are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products. Not all products will be available in all regions of the world.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, statements regarding market positioning; product features, cost and availability; and market trends. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such results will be achieved, if at all. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements.

Key risks and uncertainties include volatility in global economic conditions; business conditions and growth in the storage ecosystem; impact of competitive products and pricing; actions by competitors; unexpected advances in competing technologies; our development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, including our most recently filed periodic report, to which your attention is directed. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

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