Western Digital announced 20TB HDDs with OptiNAND architecture

Unit features 9 2.2TB disks and enhanced embedded iNAND flash memory module

A Western Digital presented on September 1st, in its digital event, the the market’s first 20TB physical drive that uses onboard iNAND flash memory module, making possible better performance on physical disks with high storage capacities.

The technology OptiNAND consists of nine 2.2TB ePMR disks (energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording technology / perpendicular magnetic-assisted recording technology), three-stage actuator for better read/write head positioning it is a iNAND embedded memory module whose capacity has not been revealed, besides the Proprietary SoC developed and manufactured by Western Digital itself.

Credits: Western Digital

The company chose not to work with partnerships in the development of the SoC, assuring itself that it would have total quality control of the system that guarantees communication between the 9 disks and the iNAND flash drive.


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One of the notable improvements of the new technology is that unlike traditional physical disks, redundancy metadata stored to prevent data loss and optimize access to them are not stored on adjacent tracks between the discs, but on the iNAND flash drive, improving both accuracy and access speed, thus increasing the read and write speeds and minimize data loss.

The new architecture will still guide the company’s development plans for several generations.

Another advantage of using the flash drive is that the Metadata storage operates at the sector level, reducing interference from adjacent tracks and further improving disk performance. O embedded iNAND module is also capable of storing up to 100MB of cache, preventing considerable data loss in momentary power failures.


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Credits: Western Digital

Due to these active ways of ensuring high storage capacities accurately and efficiently, new Western Digital drives based on OptiNAND architecture should consume a little more energy, this being the only effective difference between them and current physical disks. Therefore, equipment with 3.5-inch disk bays should be perfectly compatible with an upgrade to new drives, as long as the systems power supply is not too undersized.

According to Siva Sivaram, President of Global Strategy and Technology, Western Digital, thanks to Western Digital’s Intellectual Property and Development teams, which are among the best in the world, the company is able to further innovate by significantly improving its customers’ storage infrastructures. Furthermore, Sivaram also stated that “the new architecture will still guide the company’s development plans for several generations“, enabling OptiNAND drives up to 50TB in the second half of this decade.

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Via: Tom’s HARDWARE Source: Western Digital

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