As HDD storage architecture has become more sophisticated, the addition of a flash layer is a logical step in the system’s memory hierarchy. Flash is more cost-effective than DRAM, with data persistence across power cycles. Flash also provides faster access than disk, enabling time-sensitive calculations to be performed while keeping the disk free to perform host operations.
Unlike a hybrid drive where flash is used to store user data, the new architecture is a breakthrough in storage that works differently, enabling advances on multiple dimensions of storage capability. By adding vertically integrated iNAND to its world-class HDDs, and with enhanced firmware algorithm and SoC innovations, Western Digital’s flash-enhanced drives with OptiNAND technology deliver improved capacity, performance and reliability to help customers meet growing storage demands.
Capacity: The drive works smarter, with enhanced firmware algorithms taking advantage of expanded metadata that has been offloaded to the iNAND, enabling more tracks per inch (TPI) with resulting increased areal density.
Performance: Drive latency is improved with proprietary optimizations to drive firmware focused on requiring fewer adjacent track interference (ATI) refreshes and reducing the need for write cache flushes in write cache-enabled mode.
Reliability: Nearly 50x more customer data can be retained in the event of an emergency power off (EPO) scenario, and with Western Digital’s unique capabilities in vertically integrated supply, design, development, testing and qualification of flash-enhanced drives, customers can count on the drive’s reliability.