Western Digital unveils 1TB drive, repackages product lines

New 3.5-in. WD Caviar Black product line ships next week for high-end systems

Western Digital Tuesday unveiled a new family of 3.5-in. hard drives offering capacities of 750GB and 1TB for desktop and multi-drive systems. Additionally, officials announced a repackaging of its hard drive product, which will now be offered in separate high-performance, energy efficient and so-called "best value" categories.

The new dual processor WD Caviar Black drives spin at up to 7,200 rpm, supports a 3Gbit/sec. serial ATA interface and has 32MB cache. The device will be available next week through resellers with the 750GB model priced at US$200 and the 1TB version priced at $250, said Ted Deffenbaugh, senior director of product marketing at Western Digital.

Western Digital's first 3.5-in. 7,200 rpm 1TB storage device takes on similar size drives launched about a year ago by rivals Samsung Electronics, Seagate, and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

According to Deffenbaugh, Western Digital recently compared the vibe performance of its 3.5-in. WD Caviar Black against Samsung's1TB F1 Series 7,200 rpm drives by placing the devices on oscillation tables within its labs.

He said that without any vibration added, the WD Caviar Black drive showed 13 per cent better performance over the Samsung hard drive. With 1.088 grams of vibration applied to each storage device, the WD Caviar Black lost 14 per cent of its throughput while Samsung's F1 Series drive lost 62 per cent of its data transfer speed, noted Deffenbaugh.

The WD Caviar Black drives are based on the drive manufacturer's StableTrac design, which the company said minimizes platter vibrations that can disrupt read and write operations, he added.

To coincide with the launch of the new WD Caviar Black product line, Deffenbaugh said Western Digital is repackaging its entire hard drive product portfolio into new black, green and blue color-coded subgroups based on characteristics. He said the process is expected to take six to nine months to complete.

The new drives are the first members of the Caviar Black family, which will include the company's fastest and highest-performing hard drives.

The new Caviar Green product line will absorb the company's existing energy efficient, eco-friendly X drives whose capacities range from 500GB to 1TB.

All remaining Western Digital drives will be placed under the Caviar Blue or "professional" subgroup. Deffenbaugh said the blue line will feature drives created from blended parts of existing and new technology.

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