Uses iSSD to cache data for faster transfers
Western Digital has revealed it is working with SanDisk for its 5mm (0.2-inches) thick solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) that it revealed last month. The WD Black SSHD storage, aimed at notebook manufacturers aiming to create thinner devices, uses SanDisk's flash memory technology for the solid-state portion, which works alongside the WD-created hard disk.
Thinner drives use single edge connector to save space
Building on from its 7mm release last year, Western Digital has started shipping its first hard drives and solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) that measure 5mm (0.2-inches) thick. The new WD Blue and WD Black 2.5-inch drives are made to allow for even thinner notebook and ultrabook designs, while still providing a sizable amount of storage for the end user.
New device bolsters WD player line with DLNA, wide codec support
Computer storage solutions manufacturer Western Digital added to its lineup of media streamers today with the new WD TV Play, a media player that streams popular Internet channels, as well as personal photos, music and movies from other networked devices in the home, directly to an HDTV. The device can play content from any computer or network attached storage device that has a DLNA server, in addition to any directly-connected digital camcorder, camera, or USB 2.0 storage device.
LaCie introduces Blade Runner, new RAID options
LaCie has announced three new storage devices at CES. Among these is the Blade Runner, a desktop hard drive designed by Philippe Starck. Its name stems from "blades" enclosing an amorphous main body, which in turn houses a 4TB hard disk. The drive has a single USB 3.0 connection, and costs $300. Only 9,999 units are being produced.
High-performance WD Black drive uses dual stage actuators
Western Digital has extended its high-performance hard drive line to include a 4-terabyte option, doubling the previous largest capacity drive. The new addition to the WD Black range continues the line's themes of fast access times and reliability, making it ideal for workstations as well as the desktops of performance-hungry gamers.
MacBooks, external hard drives, more
DealNN deals this week include price cuts on MacBooks, external hard drives and more. Currently, B&H Photo has the 13.3-inch MacBook Air for $1,099, which is $100 less than the original price of $1,199, and about $30 less than the lowest price we could find anywhere else. Also choose from either FileMaker, Bento 4 or Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac for free with your purchase. This MacBook Air features a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage. Free shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of New York state.
New products combine 802.11ac with WD's FasTrack
WD, a Western Digital company, announced today the availability of its new My Net AC1300 HD Dual-Band Router and My Net AC Bridge, two new additions to its My Net family of HD dual-band routers. The two new devices combine 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with WD's own FasTrack technology, which prioritizes high-bandwidth entertainment services in order to improve streaming performance at home.
Device boasts enhanced MIMO antenna, low-complexity configuration
Western Digital has revealed the My Net Wi-Fi Range Extender to expand wireless home networks into out-of-reach areas of the home. Following the introduction of its first line of wireless home networking products, the My Net family of HD dual-band routers, the new selectable dual-band range extender provides more reliable wireless network coverage to Wi-Fi connected devices that suffer from a weak Wi-Fi signal.
Gas replacement lowers drive power, temperature
Western Digital plans to ship hard drives filled with helium instead of air, starting from next year. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), bought by Western Digital last year for $4.3 billion, believes the change to helium will help significantly reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of drives in businesses running their own data centers.
WD pushes new QoS tech, 802.11n optimizations
The Western Digital brand typically conjures thoughts of hard drives or other storage devices, however the California-based company has continued to push its way into the home-networking market. The My Net N900 router exemplifies this new focus, bringing dual-band 802.11n connectivity and a slew of high-end features that attempt to balance raw performance with simple setup and superior traffic management. In our full review, we attempt to determine if the device is worth its hefty price.
WD Red claims higher reliability, performance in NAS devices
Western Digital is bringing out hard drives designed specifically for network attached storage devices. The WD Red range is a new line of storage aimed purely at the NAS market, claiming improved reliability and system performance in comparison to desktop and server drives in such devices.
WD router range includes 1 and 2TB NAS options
Western Digital is for the first time rolling out its own line of wireless home networking products. The My Net family is comprised of a Gigabit switch, three dual-band Wi-Fi routers, and one dual-band router with 1TB or 2TB of integrated network storage, including remote data access through a website or iOS and Android apps. Of special interest is WD's FasTrack technology, which on the routers prioritizes traffic such as Netflix, Skype, YouTube, or Xbox Live.
FTC-imposed WD asset transfer complete, Viviti buy approved
The FTC-imposed transfer of assets by hard drive maker Western Digital (WD) to Toshiba is now completed, the company announced on Tuesday. The move was required by regulatory bodies due to monopoly concerns after WD revealed its intention to purchase Hitachi's Viviti hard drive maker. Previously, Viviti was known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.
WD VelociRaptor keeps up with storage
Western Digital on Monday timed the launch of a larger VelociRaptor drive with the NAB media expo. The new, 1TB capacity almost doubles the prior 600GB peak and is seen as a way to give video editors the capacity they need while still giving performance above and beyond conventional disk drives. It continues to spin at 10,000RPM versus the usual 7,200RPM and comes inn an "Ice Pack" heatsink that cools it down while serving as a mount for a 3.5-inch drive bay.
WD Scorpio Blue now ready in slim form
Western Digital on Wednesday started shipping a new version of its Scorpio Blue hard drive tailored for ultrabooks and otherwise thin notebooks. At 7mm tall, it fits in spaces where regular 9.5mm drives won't but can still have as much as 500GB of space. The design has the simultaneous upside of lower power consumption and is purportedly the most efficient spinning hard drive in the field.
My Passport Studio now available in 2TB capacity
Western Digital just added a new 2TB capacity for its Mac OS X-oriented My Passport Studio external hard drive range. Other capacities include 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB, and the all-metal hard drive is compatible with Apple's Time Machine back-up feature out of the box. There is no power adapter needed when users plug it in using the USB 2.0 interface or one of the two FireWire 800 ports, which also boosts transfer speeds.
WD My Passport hits 2TB with new design
Western Digital undertook a major remake of its My Passport portable hard drives on Tuesday that both claimed a first in capacity and gave it a fresher design. The new versions are the first to ever have 2TB of storage in a portable-sized drive. WD hasn't said how the drive is arranged, although it's more likely to be two 1TB disk than the still-distant single 2TB drives.
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo reaches stores
Western Digital acted on a two-month promise by shipping its range-topping MyBook Thunderbolt Duo drives. The desktop external disks use the headroom of the 10Gbps spec, along with RAID, to supply speeds faster than most individual internal drives, even on a system like a MacBook Air. In a hands-on (above) with a RAID 0 stripe, we saw real speeds of 750MB per second in reads and 640MB per second in writes, rendering it faster than a high-end solid-state drive.
WD completes buyout of Hitachi Global Storage
Western Digital has become the world’s largest hard drive maker following the completion of its deal to buy Hitachi Global Storage. The deal was sealed with WD paying out $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares in WD currently worth just short of $1 billion. The aggregated revenues of the two companies in 2011 totaled $15 billion with the two brands set to continue in the marketplace side by side.
Deal expected to close this week
Despite reports of proposed buyout of Hitachi. The companies appear to have resolved the lingering issues, enabling the deal to move forward.
FTC imposes restrictions on WD buy of Hitachi
The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that Western Digital sell its desktop hard drive manufacturing assets and some Intellectual Property rights to Toshiba, following its multi-billion purchase of Hitachi. The condition of the sale is needed, the FTC believed, because the original deal would have left WD as one of just two global desktop hard drive makers. The FTC ruled the deal as uncompetitive and feels its ruling will maintain "vigorous competition" in the worldwide market that should result in competitive prices and innovation in the field.
Media on multiple devices, supports UltraViolet
Some of the same studios that developed the the UltraViolet digital standard are launching a new initiative to make content available across multiple devices. SanDisk, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Western Digital
have formed a new working group dubbed the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) to develop a new digital rights management (DRM) protocol that would make digital media available across multiple devices and through the cloud. The group will develop the system under the working title "Project Phenix."
WD makes Toshiba deal to keep Hitachi buyout alive
Western Digital struck a deal late Tuesday to divest some of its 3.5-inch desktop hard drive assets to Toshiba. The pact would see WD buy Toshiba's storage group in Thailand, as well as give away other elements, as a condition of WD's buyout of Hitachi's storage group. By the completion of the deal, Toshiba could make desktop 3.5-inch hard drives for home users, and it could improve its ability to make specialized drives for pro uses.
Seagate talks about hard drive production in 2012
Storage drive maker Seagate has updated its previous outlook on hard drive shortages due to the floods in Thailand. During its latest results call, it said shipments will be affected well into 2012, and the total shortage is to reach about 150 million units. Another storage drive maker, Western Digital, has stated production volumes won't be resumed until the summer.
Drives demonstrated in a daisy-chained setup
Just weeks after announcing its first Thunderbolt hard drives, Western Digital appropriately brought the offerings to show off at the Macworld iWorld expo in San Francisco. Electronista took a close look at several of the company's My Book Thunderbolt Duo drives, which were daisy chained to a Thunderbolt display.
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo gives pro speed
Western Digital gave a more formal debut to its first Thunderbolt-equipped drive at Macworld|iWorld on Thursday. The My Book Thunderbolt Duo uses the fast 10Gbps port to feed two 3.5-inch hard drives at speeds that would be impractical for FireWire 800. On a 6TB Thunderbolt Duo, peak transfer speeds can hit over 250MBps (2Gbps), making the only bottleneck the drives themselves.
WD says expects pre-flood capacity by September
In announcing its latest financial results which showed net income of $145 million, Western Digital has offered an update on its ‘significant’ progress in restoring manufacturing capacity and supply following the Thai floods. The major hard drive manufacturer says that is continuing to ramp production in Thailand and had resumed slider production, which had been suspended since October 10.The company now believes its manufacturing capacity will be back to pre-flood capabilities in the quarter ending September 2012.
Starts at 4TB of storage
Western Digital has released the My Book Live Duo, a new external backup drive for Mac and Windows systems. The Duo takes its name from twin hard disks, which allow it to span or mirror content, depending on a user's preference. To support this it includes its own 800MHz processor, and a lid which opens to let people replace or upgrade a drive without screwdrivers.
Updates WD TV Remote App, adds VUDU, 5 others
Western Digital has updated its WD TV Remote app for WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub users. The company will soon be adding Android support to the app as well as iOS devices (free, App Store). WD also announced it will be adding new streaming services for WD TV users, including VUDU and several sports networks.
Some warranties reduced from 5 years to 1 year
Late last week, Seagate cut the warranty period for many of its popular hard drives. Western Digital (WD) has now followed suit. In some cases, the length of time has been cut from five years to one.
WD boosts sales forecasts for December quarter
Western Digital has said that due to the dedication of its teams, it is recovering faster from the devastating floods in Thailand that have seriously constrained worldwide supplies of hard drives. In response, the company has raised its revenue forecasts to $1.8 billion for the December quarter, according to Bloomberg. After the floods had occurred, the company’s early estimates in October had only forecast sales of $1.25 billion for the period.
Seagate update paints dim picture of
Seagate in an update warned that hard drive shortages relating to Thai flooding would last for the long term. It anticipated that shortages would go on for "several quarters." Although supply would improve in 2012, some PC builders would "optimize" by using fewer drives or models with lower capacity.
Company to challenge pending arbitration ruling
Western Digital has revealed that on Friday an arbitrator ruled against the company in a dispute between itself and rival Seagate over alleged misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets. The preliminary award is for $525 million, not including any prejudgement interest. WD plans on challenging the award.
Nidec restarts hard drive motor production
Japan's Nidec gave some hope to a quicker end to Thai flood-related drive shortages after it stated Monday that it had already resumed making hard drive motors in its factories in Ayutthaya. The company is responsible for making nearly 75 percent of the drive motors in the world and could ease production supplies at companies like Seagate, which are indirectly affected. Production in mainland China and the Philippines was also increasing and could help mitigate other losses, to the point where it was making 100 million motors just in the next quarter.
Seagate narrows Barracuda line, claims simplicity
Seagate on Tuesday cut down its Barracuda desktop hard drives to just one core model line in what may be as much a supply issue as simplification. It will drop both the Barracuda Green and XT lines and fold some of their features into the main series, with performance features like SmartAlign (4K data block) formatting and hybrid SSD/hard drive models simply showing up in the regular line. Storage will start at 250GB and peak at the previous 3TB.
Seagate and WD outline Thai flooding damage
Seagate and Western Digital both warned late this week that continued flooding in Thailand was worsening shortages. Western Digital has been the worst affected and anticipated a major hit to supply of its hard drives made in the country. Seagate's main plants were unaffected so far, but many of the smaller companies supplying parts were temporarily shut down, the company said.
Troubled waters also impact hard drive production
Sony has warned that it has delayed indefinitely the introduction of two of its latest cameras as a result of recent flooding in Thailand. The company has been forced to shut down two of its three production units in the country, including those that had been preparing to roll out the new NEX-7 and Alpha A65 cameras. A worldwide shortage of hard drives as well is expected in the aftermath of the flooding.
Thaliand floods cause WD to halt HDD production
Western Digital Corp. on Wednesday announced its hard drive production in its factory near Bangkok, Thailand has been stemmed due to the recent floods in the region. The current quarter's production will drop as the floods took out transportation channels, utilities, supplier facilities, and sometimes employee homes. The company was happy to say that its 37,000 employees in the region weren't hurt.
WD TV Live carries Spotify Music and more
Western Digital on Tuesday brought out its next-generation WD TV Live media box and companion WD TV Live Hub. The new version has a revamped, tray-based interface and now has Spotify music. Listeners with a Spotify Premium account can stream at the full 320Kbps with support for making playlists, sharing, and getting access to others' content through profiles and the song inbox.
Studio drives sport dual FireWire ports
Western Digital has updated the Mac-formatted editions of its My Passport drives. The most basic drive, the My Passport for Mac, is now being sold in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities ranging in price from $100 to $130, although the 500GB option is currently listed as out of stock. Each model connects via USB 2.0 and supports password protection, hardware encryption, and use as a Time Machine backup.
WD 2go ties mobile into My Book Live drives
Western Digital leapt into mobile access for remote storage on Tuesday by putting out mobile iOS and Android apps to connect to its MyBook Live networked hard drives. Both the free WD 2go (App Store, Android Market) and $3 WD 2go Pro (App Store, Android Market) let users get at music, photos, videos, and general files from a My Book Live at home. The move provides a way to stream content that wouldn't fit on a phone or tablet.
WD TV Live Plus, Live Hub get Hulu Plus access
Western Digital on Tuesday revealed it has made the Hulu Plus subscription service available on its WD TV Live Plus and WD TV Live Hub media players. US residents with a Hulu Plus subscription can watch new and old TV shows and movies offered by the service. Users have access to series from ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, MTV, NBC and VH-1.
Western Digital ships 9.5mm tall 1TB drive
Western Digital on Wednesday shipped its first 1TB notebook drive thin enough to fit most portables. An upgraded Scorpio Blue measures 9.5mm tall and is thin enough that a MacBook Pro or most other thinner but regular-sized notebooks can take the capacity. The slimming down comes through fitting 500GB per platter and cutting out the third platter that had been needed on earlier drives.
New units use power-saving WD Caviar Green drives
Western Digital has launched an update to its line of Mac-styled MyBook Studio external hard drives. The new units are available with power-conserving WD Caviar Green series hard drives in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB capacities, and have both FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interfaces. The drives' brushed aluminum exterior helps eliminate the need for an internal fan, which reduces noise and extends drive life. The drives are also compatible with PCs but must be reformatted.
AirPort Extreme 2011 ups power, goes green
A pair of looks at the upgraded AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule has shown more upgrades and changes than first thought, including a slightly misleading view of the hard drive. One breakdown shared between AppleInsider and iFixit has shown that the new AirPort Extreme and presumably Time Capsule output about 2.8 times more power, at 392.64mW, than the previous version. A test wasn't immediately possible, but the potential existed for as much as a 60 percent range boost, though only in ideal conditions.
WD AV-GP media hard drives hit 3TB
Western Digital on Monday upgraded its AV-GP hard drives to provide extra space for frequent media users. New 2.5TB and 3TB versions match the capacity of the best regular drives but are designed for always-on use and a relatively low power draw. Both of them are optimized for very heavy recording demands and can grab as many as 12 simultaneous HD video streams.
Samsung considering selloff of hard drive business
A source claimed Sunday night that Samsung was looking to sell off its hard drive business. The Korean company had set a target price of $1.5 billion but was eager enough to sell it for under $1 billion if it couldn't fetch the intended target. Seagate was the only named candidate from the Wall Street Journal's tip, but it wasn't clear how likely the US company was to land the deal.
WD intros 6TB My Book Studio Edition II
Western Digital put out one of the largest capacity dual-disk external drives on Thursday by introducing a 6TB version of the My Book Studio Edition II. The drive pairs two of the still-rare 3TB drives, optionally in a RAID mirror or stripe, and is aimed primarily at creative pros who deal with very large photos or videos on a regular basis. It comes pre-formatted for Macs; it can be reformatted for Windows, but it needs at least Vista or 7 to see more than 2.1TB.
Samsung promises 4TB 3.5-inch hard drives soon
Samsung has found a way to build 1TB platters for hard drives, which will allow it to build 4TB hard drives for computers. The news came from CeBIT courtesy of German newspaper Heise and indicates a new record. Currently, companies can only produce 3TB 3.5-inch hard drives, with each platter at 750MB. The breakthrough also applies to notebooks, as Samsung showed off a 2.5-inch, two-platter, 1TB drive that is compatible with most average notebooks thanks to its standard height.
WD buys Hitachi storage division
Western Digital said on Monday that it was buying Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for the equivalent of $4.3 billion. The move includes a combination of $3.5 billion in cash as well as shares worth about $750 million. The deal will see the WD name remain but see Hitachi GST's CEO Steve Milligan join WD as president.