Seagate 6TB hard drive doesn't use helium

Data storage company Seagate Technology of California has released its first 6TB, enterprise-class hard disk drive that doesn't use helium.

Seagate said it doesn't yet need to use helium, which reduces friction and heat. In making its new 6TB hard drive, Seagate used the same perpendicular magnetic recording technology that it has on previous models, but was able to increase areal density from 831 bits per square inch to 1,000.

Helium is a gas seven times less dense than air. By replacing the air in a hard drive with helium, spinning hard disks inside create less turbulence when they spin, allowing more disks to be packed into less space and use less power. Using helium tackles a purely mechanical problem, which is the limit of how fast disks can spin when packed closer together.

The new 7,200rpm, enterprise drive also has a humidity sensor that will allow it to continue functioning in humid environments. Seagate's Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 is aimed at cloud-based data centers, where near-line storage is critical.

The new drive also comes in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB capacities and with either 12Gbps SAS or 6Gbps SATA connectivity.

(Credit: Seagate Technology plc)Seagate 6TB hard drive

As with its past enterprise drives, Seagate's new drive is self-encrypting with the company's Instant Secure Erase, which overwrites data multiple times for easy drive disposal or repurposing. The drive is also FIPS SED certified.

The new enterprise drive can sustain 550TB in data writes annually, or 10 times the 55TB workloads that Seagate's best desktop drives can handle. Seagate said the drive will be the same price per gigabyte as the previous 4TB capacity model.

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