Western Digital will use SSD for its hard drives in a new way

Western Digital will use SSD for its hard drives in a new way

The company will not store real data on NAND flash chips, but it will improve the performance of the hard disk.

The major hard drive manufacturers have already identified countless ways in which hard drives can be developed. The red and the MAMR But it is difficult to apply at the moment, so Western Digital, which is being produced with the latter, is currently more than that. EAMR The technology is clear.

The problem is mostly that until HAMR and MAMR are realistically deployed, they can be optimized on hard drives. One of Western Digital’s new concepts for this is OptiNAND, which complements the SSD with a 20TB, nine-panel, helium-filled HDAM using EAMR technology.

Here, the question immediately arises about what’s new in this, since SSHD is there yet, but OptiNAND does not use an SSD to store data. In fact, Western Digital is adding an embedded UFS-compatible SSD with 162-cell 3D NAND flash chips called iNAND to its hard drive. It stores metadata that helps the hard drive work.


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The OptiNAND hard drive can store 2.2GB of data per board, which isn’t easy to do since the paths come pretty close together. Determining the exact position of the reading head is helped by a three-level trigger, which we have already seen embodied in previously released hard drives, but this alone will not be enough. The problem of widely spaced bands almost always stems from interference. The closer these corridors are, the more problematic this factor becomes. In order not to change the data stored on the adjacent track during writing, today’s hard drives periodically update the stored information. This is not a problem as long as the update frequency occurs at assessable intervals, but the more bars on the board, the more intense the updates are required, which ultimately leads to more and more performance loss. In addition, the entire workflow here applies to the entire scope, even if a small part of it is at risk of changing the data.

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OptiNAND basically solves the above problem by being able to perform sector level upgrade as well. So Western Digital can do nothing about the interference itself, but its negative effects can be made less problematic, so the paths on the panels can come close to each other, plus an update at a non-bandwidth level will not have a strong negative impact on performance.

In addition to the above, some SSDs built into OptiNAND can also act as a cache, which in turn increases hard drive performance. There is not much difference here compared to the previous SSHD concept, and the goal is also to store frequently used data on the SSD for faster access.

Unfortunately, there is no data on when Western Digital will first launch the OptiNAND HDD, but major partners have already received samples of the product, so an official release may not be far off. The company also indicated that this design is largely expected to be in excess of 20TB, but of course it will primarily focus on the needs of large companies, so it will take time for OptiNAND to become part of the end-user chain as well.

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