Western Digital to ship 250 GB SATA HDD

Carrying on the heritage of WD Caviar SE hard drives as industry-leading performers, these new SATA-equipped hard drives feature capacities as large as 250 GB, an 8 MB buffer and three-year warranty,to fill acute demand in market segments such as high-end PC, workstation and entry-level servers.

The Company also introduced its robust SecureConnectTM SATA cable technology, which is designed to solve a weakness of first-generation SATA hard drives and cables by strengthening thedrive-cable connection by more than 500%, while ensuring the hard drive maintains backward compatibility with legacy SATA cables and backplanes. This strengthening of the drive-cable connection isintended to eliminate SATA connector breakage as well as reduce the number of related product returns to hard drive makers and systems manufacturers. Also featured on the new WD Caviar SE SATA harddrives is Western Digital’s FlexPowerTM technology that accepts a power connection from either the traditional EIDE power connectors – found in virtually all of today’s desktop systems -or other currently shipping SATA power supplies. Details and photos of SecureConnect and FlexPower technologies may be found on Western Digital’s Web site at http://www.westerndigital.com/.

“Western Digital set out to improve the current 7,200 RPM SATA hard drives on the market today and we have done so with the innovation of SecureConnect,” stated Richard E. Rutledge, Western Digital’svice president of marketing. “Living up to the Special Edition name, our new WD Caviar 7,200 RPM SATA drive features cutting-edge improvements that translate into end user benefits. WithSecureConnect technology we aim to virtually eliminate the problem of SATA connector breakage. We have migrated our SecureConnect and FlexPower technologies from our high-end WD RaptorTMenterprise hard drive to our WD Caviar SE SATA line, and achieved compatibility with currently shipping power supplies so that our customers have one less thing to worry about when building orupgrading their storage systems.”

The SATA interface offers users in all market segments a performance roadmap enabling transfer rates as high as 600 MB/s, which stretches far beyond the limits of Parallel ATA (PATA), and benefitsusers with a longer and thinner cable for increased airflow and system design flexibility. Server and storage system users are benefiting from hot-plug support, backplane compatibility and theimproved cable advantages in the enterprise market.

“Currently, SATA drives are finding homes in the high end of the PC and workstation markets, as well as in the entry-level server and storage subsystem market,” said Dave Reinsel, analyst with IDC.”IDC anticipates the adoption of SATA hard drives in the enterprise market will continue steadily because the technology offers system-design flexibility advantages over Parallel ATA, and cost andcapacity advantages compared with enterprise-class hard drives. Broad adoption of SATA within the mainstream PC market is likely to be conservative over the next several months because of an initialcost disadvantage with respect to traditional PATA drives.”

According to IDC, SATA will replace PATA in most new PCs within the next two years. They estimate that in the enterprise storage market, PATA hard drives currently represent about ten percent of theoverall segment and SATA, replacing PATA, will grow to nearly forty percent of drives consumed within the enterprise storage market in 2006.

The component infrastructure supporting SATA is growing quickly, with many major PC and enterprise manufacturers developing SATA-compatible chipsets, motherboards, backplanes, host adaptors andstorage system enclosures.

Western Digital will be shipping SATA-equipped WD Caviar SE hard drives featuring SecureConnect and FlexPower through its distribution network in June. The Company’s major OEM customers are currentlyqualifying the products. SecureConnect cables with FlexPower will be available through Western Digital’s distribution network beginning in July.

WD Caviar SE SATA Hard Drives

WD Caviar SE SATA hard drives are available in capacities of 120, 160, 200 and 250 GB and feature 8 MB cache buffer, 7,200 RPM, SecureConnect, FlexPower and three-year warranty. Data throughput is150 MB/second over the SATA interface. The performance roadmap for SATA extends up to 600 MB/second, ensuring a reliable standard for storage providers and customers in the years ahead. Additionalinformation about WD Caviar Special Edition hard
drives, SecureConnect and FlexPower may be found on the Company’s Web site http://www.westerndigital.com/products.


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