It's still a rumour at this point, but a plausible one. Western Digital is said to be working on a hard disk that can spin at 20,000rpm, thirty percent faster than today's fastest spinning drives.
According to one website, sources at last week's Computex Show were willing to talk up the prospect of a version of the company's Raptor drive appearing in the next year capable of taking on the best of the solid-state drives (SSD) designs.
That means 20,000rpm, a good bit above the best of today's spinning wonders, such as Seagate's 15,000rpm Cheetah.
The faster a platter spins the more heat it produces, but Western Digital has an answer to that as well. The drive will, apparently, be a 2.5 inch drive encased in a noise-and vibration-dampening 3.5 inch enclosure capable of acting as a formidable heatsink.
If true, the model for the unnamed drive looks as if it's the VelociRaptor, also a 2.5 inch enclosed drive, but running at only 10,000rpm. It is this as much as hype that makes the drive rumours sound within the realms of the possible. Conventional hard drives of the sort that turn up in desktop PCs run at 7,200rpm at best.
The best argument in favour of a hard disk spinning at this speed is probably price-performance. SSDs can match or possibly exceed the performance of such a drive, but they won't for some time be able to match it for capacity relative to cost. For date centres buying storage Terabytes at a time, such calculations matter hugely.
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