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Helium-filled hard drives may lift WD to the top

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 4, 2013
Western Digital is expected to release versions of an enterprise-class 3.5-in. helium-filled drive this year, which could propel the company into first place for enterprise drive sales.

Seagate, as well as Toshiba, the third remaining HDD player after Western Digital acquired Hitachi GST, could also develop their own scaling technologies to compete with helium-filled offerings. However, technological difficulties and patent issues could present challenges and delay submissions from Western Digital's rivals, IHS said.

A potential obstacle to large-scale production is cost, largely because of the complexity of the manufacturing process. But costs could come down with the continued involvement of major hard drive and component manufacturers.


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