Western Digital announced a new technology that allows to increase the capacity of hard drives, along with performance and reliability. OptiNAND allows you to combine UFS-type iNAND flash memory HDDs. The first products will have a capacity of 20 TB, but will be available in the coming years hard disk and 50 TB.
OptiNAND: Bigger and faster hard drives
Western Digital’s future hard drives will use four technologies: OptiNAND, ePMR, TSA and HelioSeal. Previously, the flash memory in hybrid drives was only used for booting and storing small amounts of data. OptiNAND is a new memory hierarchy that uses the disk SoC to control communication with the iNAND. This non-volatile memory holds the metadata, freeing up space for the actual data. It therefore increases the TPI (tracks per inch) and consequently the recording density (Gigabits per square inch). Early HDDs will have a capacity of 2.2 TB per platter.
With firmware optimizations, reduced interference between adjacent tracks, and the ability to use iNAND memory as a cache for write operations, OptiNAND allows you to increase performance (in some cases up to 80%). Being a non-volatile memory, an improvement of thereliability, as more data can be retained during a sudden power failure.
Future hard drives will leverage other Western Digital technologies: ePMR (Energy-assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording), TSA (Triple Stage Actuator) e HelioSeal (helium inside hard drives). Prices are not known, but are expected to be quite high, being hard drives designed for business.