WESTERN DIGITAL ANNOUNCES ONE OF THE INDUSTRY'S FIRST
LOW-PROFILE 18.3 GB ULTRA2 SCSI HARD DRIVES
ROCHESTER, Minn. November 2, 1998 Western Digital
Corporation (NYSE:WDC) today announced one of the industrys first low-profile 18.3
GB, 3.5-inch 7,200 RPM Ultra2 SCSI LVD (low-voltage differential) hard drives designed for
enterprise computing platforms. The new WD Enterprise hard drive is an extension of the WD
Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI high performance family and includes 8 new models in the 18.3 GB
and 9.1 GB capacity points. Evaluation samples have shipped as early as July to major OEM
customers. Manufacturing will begin in December, with general availability in January.
"Bringing to market one of the industrys high capacity low-profile 18.3 GB
Ultra2 SCSI hard drives reaffirms our commitment to our enterprise storage
customers," said W. Michael Williams, senior vice president and general manager of
Western Digitals Enterprise Storage Group. "The new WD Enterprise hard drives
represent our keen understanding of what matters most to enterprise-class customers
performance-rich, time-to-market hard drives with advanced data protection to reliably
manage increasingly complex data, provided by a leading and reliable storage
"In less than two years, Western Digital has secured a 7 percent market share in
the traditional enterprise portion of the HDD marketplace," said Crawford Del Prete,
vice president of IDCs Storage Research Program. "The new 18 GB low-profile
drive builds on the companys momentum, and will target the enterprise market sweet
spot in 1999."
Advanced Data Protection Assures Data Integrity
To protect mission critical data on enterprise-class systems, Western Digital is
committed to minimizing costly system downtime by finding ways to monitor and control the
operation of the hard drive. "The advanced data protection features implemented in
the WD Enterprise 18.3 GB and 9.1 GB Ultra2 SCSI hard drives enable easier storage
management, maximizing data integrity in both read and write operations an
industry-first for Western Digital," said Brian Nass, vice president of marketing for
Western Digitals Enterprise Storage Group.
Focusing on data recovery, failure prediction and failure prevention, these advanced
data protection features include enhanced error correction (ECC) which does not detract
from the hard drives performance, S.M.A.R.T. which notifies the host of changing
conditions, and Western Digitals exclusive Data Lifeguard which automatically
identifies, isolates and repairs problem areas that may develop over an extended period of
Additionally, the thermal monitor evaluates the temperature of the drive, provides
pertinent information to the host, and optimizes drive operations to sustain the
temperatures at an acceptable level. To provide greater reliability and improved error
rates, the patent-pending fly height monitor protects the write operations by detecting
when a recording head is flying outside of its normal operating range. Once this has been
detected, the hard drive ensures that the information has been written correctly by either
rewriting the data or reallocating that data.
Powerful Performance for Intelligent Storage Solutions
Designed for workstation, server and RAID applications, the new generation WD
Enterprise hard drives introduce a powerful, performance-driven Ultra2 SCSI design which
offers high data availability ideal for intelligent storage solutions in enterprise
computing platforms. "In I/O intensive applications where performance is a top
priority, the WD Enterprise 18.3 GB hard drive outperforms all current 18 GB Ultra2 7,200
RPM half-height (1.6-inch) drives on the market today and is competitive with the fastest
10K RPM drives now available in production," said Nass.
The WD Enterprise hard drives are used in a variety of applications including
e-commerce, AV/video-editing, scientific computing, CAD/CAM, database management, data
warehousing/data mining, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) application
To enhance system performance, the new WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives implement
advanced I/O features such as adaptive caching, command reordering and Western
Digitals proprietary Command Queuing Engine which increases the performance in
a queued environment by eliminating firmware intervention. Maximum systems throughput is
fueled by an Ultra2 SCSI interface that supports host data transfer rates of up to 80 MB/s
and exceptional bus utilization. To protect the customers existing technology
investment, this Ultra2 SCSI interface allows the drive to automatically switch between
Ultra SCSI and Ultra2 SCSI by adapting to the current bus mode (single-ended or LVD) of
operation. The drives have an average seek time of 6.9 milliseconds and up to a 246 Mb/s
internal data transfer rate.
For audio/video applications, Western Digital offers AV-optimized models which are
designed to maintain a sustained data rate of 12 to 20 MB/s to provide seamless data flow.
This is achieved by a 4 MB multi-segmented cache buffer, advanced data logging, embedded
servo technology, and custom firmware to ensure accurate and timely delivery of data.
WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI Models and Availability
The new WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives extend the Ultra2 product family to
include 8 new models consisting of 18.3 GB and 9.1 GB capacity points with either a 68-pin
or 80-pin connector and a 2 MB cache. The AV-optimized models are available in both
capacities with a 4 MB cache. The products will be certified to run Microsoft Windows 95,
Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Sun Solaris operating systems.
The WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives will be available in January in the U.S.,
Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific through Western Digitals distributors. A listing of
WD distributors can be found on the companys web site at http://www.wdc.com/products/drives/
Western Digital Corporation is a leader in information storage products and services.
The company designs and manufactures hard drives for personal and enterprise-wide
computing, and markets them to leading systems manufacturers and selected resellers under
the Western Digital brand name. Western Digital is the first Fortune 500, multinational
company to have been awarded company-wide ISO 9001 registration, linking all WD
organizations with a consistent global standard for quality processes. The company was
founded in 1970 and has long been noted for its storage and end-market systems-level
design knowledge. The companys home page can be found at http://www.westerndigital.com.