Western Digital’s upcoming 26TB HDD can store a whopping 2.6TB per platter

Briefly: WD recently announced a slew of storage products, and the Ultrastar-branded 26TB DC HC670 and 22TB DC HC570 lead the way when it comes to HDD data storage and areal density. Close to the capacity advantage of the slower medium, meanwhile, is the upcoming Ultrastar 15.36TB DC SN650 NVMe SSD. These drives are currently being tested with select WD customers and will ship in the coming months.

WD has incorporated a host of storage technologies into what it says is the world’s first 22TB CMR-based and 26TB SMR-based HDDs. The latter, denser model can store 2.6 terabytes of data per plate, while the former CMR version can store 2.2 terabytes on each of the 10 stacked plates.

In addition to full capacity, these helium drives also utilize WD’s ArmorCache technology which aims to combine the performance benefits of enable write cache with the data protection of write cache disable state. They achieve this feat with OptiNAND technology, previously seen in WD’s 20TB ePMR drive.

Faster, high-capacity, on-drive UFS storage allows all data in the DRAM cache to be written to non-volatile memory in the event of a power failure, enabling up to 40 percent faster IOPS performance than not -OptiNAND drives with 256 KB and larger files and an 80 percent improvement with 1 MB transfer size during random writes.

In addition, ArmorCache is said to improve overall performance as the drive does not require time-consuming data integrity checks on reboot and can quickly resume normal writes. WD says the technology can also help companies reduce UPS/battery costs, as it aims to ensure that cache data is successfully written in the event of a power outage.

The third drive from the Ultrastar brand is the TLC-based DC SN650, a capacious 15.36TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for enterprise customers seeking more premium storage with low latency and much faster throughput than HDDs.

WD didn’t share performance figures for the drives, but noted that the SSD, which is currently in testing, will be available in Q2 2022 in the slimmer E1.L format for servers, as well as the regular 2.5-inch form factor. The aforementioned HDDs are also being tested at selected customers and are expected to arrive in the summer.

Meanwhile, smaller businesses and home NAS users will soon be able to purchase 22TB drives with the launch of WD Purple Pro (video/surveillance), Red Pro (NAS), and Gold (enterprise-grade) HDDs.

Pricing for these CMR drives has not yet been disclosed, but potential buyers can expect the overall cost per gigabyte to continue the downward trend. Like WD’s recently announced gaming-focused Black SN850X and P40 SSDs, these drives will ship in the summer.

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