WD® Creates World's Thinnest 2.5-inch Hybrid Hard Drive New 5 mm Standard Slashes Storage Footprint by Almost 50% Compared to Traditional 2.5-inch Hard Drives

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WD®, a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced it is sampling a 5mm-thin hard disk drive featuring hybrid technology. WD has developed hard drives slim enough for integration into today's thinnest notebook PCs, which provide high-capacity storage and robustness while featuring instant-on and application performance similar to today's client solid state drives (SSDs). The new technologies will be showcased during WD's Investor Day, Sept. 13, 2012.

"Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive," said Matt Rutledge, vice president of client storage solutions at WD. "Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5 mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings."

With device volumetric efficiency a key concern for system makers, WD began shipping 7 mm height hard drives for thin-profile notebooks earlier this year (historically, standard notebook hard drives have been 9.5 mm). WD 5 mm hybrid hard drives will enable the market's thinnest computers to offer 500 GB of capacity, utilizing almost 50% less volume compared to current 9.5 mm hard drives and at one tenth the cost of similar capacity SSDs.

"Acer is partnering with WD to bring advanced notebook performance and capacity in the smallest form factor," said David Lee, associate vice president of Mobile Computing Product business unit at Acer. "It's a part of our ongoing commitment to present leading technology that ultimately improves the total user experience of our customers."

"We are seeing a shift in the computing world to more powerful mobile computing solutions," said SY Shain, senior vice president of ASUS' notebook business unit. "With this in mind, ASUS and WD are collaborating to create slimmer and more mobile notebook solutions — without sacrificing capacity or performance — to deliver smaller form-factor to consumers."

Hybrid Technology and Client Tiered Storage

WD's innovative hybrid technology pairs MLC NAND flash storage for fast SSD-like data throughput and instant-on responsiveness with magnetic disks for efficient, high-capacity storage. Similar to the practice of multi-million dollar enterprise systems, WD's hybrid technology utilizes the concept of tiered storage. Data accessed most frequently (often referred to as 'hot' data) is managed using speedy NAND flash to ensure fast response times, while data accessed less often ('cold' data) resides on the robust magnetic disks. The tiered design of hybrid hard drives, compared to current dual-drive solutions, also provides a redundancy benefit for users. The magnetic disk backs up all files residing in the NAND, protecting the user from inevitable NAND wear and preserving it for the more hot data handling. WD's hybrid technology works in conjunction with the PC operating system to deliver higher performance than current hybrid offerings while minimizing NAND wear to allow the use of less expensive MLC NAND.   

Hybrid hard drives combine NAND flash and magnetic disks, simplifying storage-element integration for OEM customers and providing a host of end user benefits: superior performance, responsiveness, lower power consumption, greater operating shock tolerance, and data protection. And unlike dual-drive designs, WD's hybrid technology provides single-unit design homogeneity that OEM system manufacturers have long sought from the storage industry.

About WD

WD, a Western Digital company, is a long-time innovator and storage industry leader. As a storage technology pacesetter, the company produces reliable, high-performance hard disk drives and solid state drives. These drives are deployed by OEMs and integrators in desktop and mobile computers, enterprise computing systems, embedded systems and consumer electronics applications, as well as by the company in providing its own storage products. WD's leading storage devices and systems, networking products, media players and software solutions empower people around the world to easily save, store, protect, share and experience their content on multiple devices. WD was established in 1970 and is headquartered in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.wd.com.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), Irvine, Calif., is a global provider of products and services that empower people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. Its companies design and manufacture storage devices, networking equipment and home entertainment products under the WD, HGST and G-Technology brands. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning introduction of hybrid technology and 5mm-thin future hard drives. These forward-looking statements are based on WD's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including: uncertainties related to the development, introduction, and timing of products based on new technologies and successful adoption into new product form factors; supply and demand conditions; and other risks and uncertainties listed in WD's recent Form 10-K filed with the SEC on August 20, 2012, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and WD undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. 

Western Digital, WD and the WD logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are property of their respective companies. As used for storage capacity, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000711/WDCLOGO)

SOURCE WD



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