While SSDs are quickly replacing HDDs in both the consumer and enterprise space, HDDs are still less expensive per gigabyte compared to its solid state competition and is still very cost effective for applications where high capacity is needed, but performance isn’t paramount.

At Western Digital’s Investor Day 2016, WD recently launched their new 4th Generation He12 Helium HDD which features an eight-disk design.  This is achieved through the use of their HelioSeal process technology which uses helium in the drive to allow WD to utilize thinner disks thanks to helium’s significantly lighter density.

As such, WD is able to deliver up to 12TB of capacity on a single 3.5″ form factor using PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) technology and up to 14TB on a single 3.5″ form factor by leveraging SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology.

WD is currently sampling the 12TB and 14TB Ultrastar He12 HDDs to select OEMs. The WD HGST branded 12TB Ultrastar He12 will be generally available in 1H2017 with the 14TB SMR HDD available in the middle of 2017.