Western Digital Unveils Its OptiNAND Flash-enhanced HDD Architecture

Western Digital OptiNAND
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Western Digital has introduced the new OptiNAND technology at the HDD Reimagine event, which was held on Tuesday. You might be assuming after reading the name that it sounds like rehashed SSHD technology that Western Digital is introducing. However, the company claims it is something else.

What is new in OptiNAND technology

One of the most significant additions is that the embedded controller NAND isn’t used as traditional data storage. Moreover, the OptiNAND is a multi-tier architecture change. So, it is inclusive of the new SoC along with the proprietary firmware algorithm. 

This results in the most amazing 20TB+ drives with better capacity and efficiency. The devices based on the new tech will also be more reliable, as per WD.

Also Read: Apple To Increase iPhone 13 Pricing Following Increased Cost of Chip Production.

After this press release, WD released a PDF, which has a useful tech brief that gives a better idea about how OptiNAND actually runs. From the information, it can be said that the most benefit of the NAND within the solution, is in the hands of HDD metadata.

Furthermore, WD also added that the gigabytes used by metadata are generated by the HDDs which in turn is useful to increase the overall areal density. But this information can be made too big for holding in DRAM, which can make it slow if tried to access from the HDD itself.

Therefore, the embedded iNAND flash and firmware is counted under the Performance/economical storage hierarchy sweet spot. Also, HDD uses Metadata to improve the areal density of TSA, triple stage actuator-based dense areal density.

Also Read: Samsung Unveils A New 512GB DDR5 Memory Module For Servers And Enterprises.

Size of new OptiNAND memory chips

Further, we are not sure about the flash memory chips size WD might use for its OptiNAND drives. However, the company did say that they are large enough to hold about 50x more data than previous drives. On top of that, OptiNAND is also said to be among the more reliable drives among WD’s upcoming HDDs. WD says that now the company can go ahead and extend the capability of energy-assisted PMR for multiple generations thanks to this new technology.


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