Western DIgital is no stranger to low capacity, high performance, pricey storage solutions, only up until this point they've always fallen under the company's VelociRaptor line. That all changes today, as WD announced its first-ever consumer-oriented solid state drive (SSD), the SiliconEdge 2.5-inch SSD family.
"The development of the WD SiliconEdge Blue product family leverages WD's extensive experience in designing and manufacturing highly reliable storage products and the company's worldwide sales and distribution network to accelerate SSD technology adoption by OEMs, technology enthusiasts, gamers and road warriors," said Michael Hajeck, senior vice president and general manager of WD's solid state storage business unit. "Customers who demand the ultimate in performance will find the WD SiliconEdge Blue SSDs exceed all their requirements."
The new drives ship in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities and features a native SATA 3Gbps interface. Read speeds come rated at up to 250MB/s, while WD says you can expect writes in the neighborhood of 170MBs. TRIM support also comes standard, as does NCQ.
In addition to performance, WD is touting the SiliconEdge family's ruggedness, saying the product line has "passed WD's extensive functional integrity testing procedures" consisting of over 250,000 of testing.
The drives are available now for $279 (64GB), $529 ($128GB), and $999 (256GB).
Western Digital's been quite the busy body today in the SSD sector. In addition to the just-announced MLC-based SiliconEdge Blue line, the storage vendor also just unveiled its WD SiliconDrive N1x 2.5-inch SSD family. Built around a single-level cell architecture (SLC), Western Digital says these provide a cost effective alternative without giving up a ton of performance.
"The WD SiliconDrive N1x SSDs are the newest addition to our SiliconDrive product family, which has shipped several million units since the first products were introduced. SiliconDrive SSDs have consistently met critical OEM application requirements for high reliability, high performance and long product deployment cycles," said Michael Hajeck, senior vice president and general manager of WD's solid state storage business unit. "Satisfying the challenging storage demands for a wide variety of OEM applications, WD has designed the WD SiliconDrive N1x and WD SiliconEdge Blue product families to facilitate SSD technology adoption in a multitude of existing and expanding new markets that can benefit from advanced storage solutions."
Like the SiliconEdge Blue line, the SiliconDrive N1x family also features a native SATA 3Gbps interface. Read and write speeds are a little more modest at 240MB/s and 140MB/s, respectively, compared to 250MB/s and 170MB/s on the SiliconEdge.
TRIM and NCQ support also come as part of the package, as does a five year warranty.
It’s been a long time since we reviewed a USB external drive—not since November 2008, to be exact—mostly because they’re essentially commodities now. With transfers capped at USB 2.0 speeds and drive sizes mostly standardized, portable hard drives have had few features by which to distinguish themselves from their peers—the usefulness of included software, eSATA support, and full-disk encryption among them. On the eve of USB 3.0 drives, the Western Digital My Book Elite 2TB seems to be the state of the USB 2.0 drive art, with a custom e-ink display. But is it more than a gimmick?
The My Book Elite shares the vaguely book-like formfactor of the My Book World and Essential lineups, but along its “spine” is the e-ink display, which shows a custom 12-character drive label, a capacity meter, and a little lock icon if you’ve enabled disk encryption. Despite its limited usefulness, we dig it—mostly because we geek out over any applications with e-ink.
It's a apparently a good time to be in the HDD business. Just as strong hard drive sales helped Seagate post healthy revenue numbers, the same holds true for Western Digital, which reported revenue of $2.6 billion for its second fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2010.
"We are very pleased with WD's strong financial performance in our second fiscal quarter," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "For the third consecutive quarter, we increased output in a supply constrained environment, providing strong support of our customers' growth opportunities, primarily in the consumer segment but, notably, with some emerging strength in the commercial sector."
WD said it shipped 49.5 million hard drives during its fiscal second quarter, which helped result in net income of $429 million, or $1.85 per share. The company also generated a record $557 million in cash from operations, ending with total cash and cash equivalents of $2.4 billion, WD said.
Western Digital today announced the My Book 3.0, their first USB 3.0-enabled external hard drive. The My Book 3.0 contains a 1TB WD hard drive in the same black shell as other My Book products, though without a capacity meter or e-ink display, a la the My Book Elite.
With USB 3.0, Western Digital claims theoretical transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second are possible (or around 640MB/s). However, given the inherent transfer speed limits of mechanical hard drives, you won't see more than around 100MB/s - still three times as fast as USB 2.0.
The 1TB WD My Book 3.0 is available now at http://www.shopwd.com for $180, or $200 with an included USB 3.0 PCIe adapter card. Look for a full review on Maximumpc.com later this week.
Recession? Tech slump? Losses? Apparently these are all things Western Digital is not familiar with, even if just about everyone else in the tech industry is. The hard drive maker today reported record quarterly revenue of $2.2 billion, and that's not the only record that was set.
Hard drive shipments also hit a record high totaling 44.1 million units for the quarter. All tallied, Western Digital pulled in net income of $288 million, or $1.25 per share, for its first fiscal quarter ended October 2, 2009.
"For the second consecutive quarter, demand for hard drives was stronger than expected as the positive industry conditions that materialized in the June quarter continued throughout the September quarter," said John Coyne, president and chief executive office. "We believe that demand is being driven primarily by consumers as a result of the growing social media phenomenon. This is creating demand in mobile and desktop PCs, branded products, and enterprise storage."
Western Digital went on to say that its hard drive inventories remain at historically low levels. And going forward, the hard drive maker says demand remains strong, so the good times should continue.
Western Digital today said it has commenced volume shipments of its 2.5-inch WD Scorpio Blue 640GB hard drives designed for notebooks.
The tiny drives pack 640GB into a single unit by way of 320GB per platter technology, making them the highest capacity 2.5-inch hard drives in the industry standard 9.5mm, 2-disk form factor yet available. On the energy efficiency front, WD claims its capacious Scropio Blue drive consumes 30 percent less power than previous generation WD Scorpio Blue models.
Other features include WD's WhisperDrive technology, which the company describes as a "state-of-the-art seeking algorithm" to reduce drive noise, ShockGuard technology for better shock tolerance should you drop or otherwise jostle your notebook, and IntelliSeek technology, which dynamically adjusts seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.
The Scorpio Blue 640GB is shipping now through select distributors and resellers with an MSRP set at $149.
Western Digital today starting shipping its new desktop 7200 RPM 2TB hard drive to OEMs and becomes the second manufacturer to offer the high spindle speed and capacity combination (Hitachi being the first).
As part of the WD Caviar Black series, the 2TB model is based on the company's 500GB-per-platter technology. Other features include a heaping 64MB of cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 3Gb/s, an integrated dual processor, and NoTouch ramp load technology, which ensures the recording head never touches the disk media and, according to WD, results in significantly less wear and tear on the drive.
Western Digital's speedy 2TB drive is available now with an MSRP of $299.
After being the first to release a 1TB desktop hard drive, Western Digital is at it again with the release of the first 1TB 2.5-inch mobile hard drive.
The drive, known as the Scorpio Blue 1TB, will be accompanied by a smaller 750GB brother as well. These are both already shipping to retailers, and will run you for $189.99 (750GB) and $249.99 (1TB).
Now, it should be noted that this isn’t truly the first drive of this size, given that pureSilicion released a 1TB SSD of this form factor, but kudos to WD on releasing the first 1TB HDD measuring only 2.5-inches.
Noticeably absent from the momentous solid state drive (SSD) market is Western Digital, whose Raptor hard drives have often been used as a performance comparison when benchmarking the fastest SSDs. Following a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems, a supplier of SSDs for the embedded systems market, look for Western Digital to soon jump into the foray.