Western Digital Begins Volume Shipments of 24TB CMR HDDs; Industry Adoption of SMR HDD Ramps

Company Executes Next Phase of its HDD Technology Roadmap, Giving Hyperscale, Cloud and Enterprise Customers Unmatched Solutions to Help Reach Sustainability Goals and Lower TCO

SAN JOSE, Calif. - November 16, 2023

As new applications, use cases and connected devices multiply, Western Digital’s (NASDAQ: WDC) enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs) remain critical for helping data center customers design more cost-efficient, scalable and sustainable infrastructure. When combined with the emergence of generative AI and the multitude of innovative applications it is enabling, the demand for high-capacity, low-power and reliable storage is poised to surge.

Western Digital leverages numerous technology innovations – ePMR, OptiNAND™, UltraSMR and more – to deliver predictable capacity growth in scalable, highly reliable products. Western Digital is now shipping its new 10-disk 24TB1 CMR HDD family for hyperscale, cloud and enterprise data center customers. Sampling since August, the new 28TB SMR HDD is also ramping, adding to the company’s SMR leadership position and momentum as its 26TB SMR HDD exabyte shipments reached nearly half of its data center exabytes shipped in the first quarter fiscal year 2024.

“With these new offerings, Western Digital is once again proving that hard drives are not just keeping pace, they are forging a path forward, ensuring that data-intensive applications of today and tomorrow have a strong foundation to build on,” said Ed Burns, Research Director, Hard Disk Drive and Storage Technologies with IDC. “We are seeing strong momentum for Western Digital’s SMR HDDs and believe that SMR adoption will continue to grow as their new 28TB SMR HDD offers the next compelling TCO value proposition that cloud customers cannot ignore.”

This new generation of drives is built on a proven platform with technology innovations specifically designed for data center customers who are consistently looking for the highest capacity storage to help them achieve the lowest possible total cost of ownership (TCO). These high-capacity HDDs are also a significant step forward in meeting the company’s sustainability targets and toward helping data center customers meet theirs. Specifically, these 28TB and 24TB HDDs are built with 40% (by weight) recycled content, and are 10%+2 more energy efficient per terabyte, contributing to customers’ data center infrastructure power efficiency goals at scale.

“New and existing endpoints from industries, connected devices, digital platforms, AI innovations, autonomous machines and more create a staggering amount of data each day. This relentless creation of data ultimately finds its way to the cloud, which is underpinned by our continued advancements in HDDs,” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, EVP and GM, HDD Business Unit, Western Digital. “As a strategic partner to cloud and data center customers around the world, we are extending the value of our proven HDD platform and technology innovations to deliver the highest capacity HDD storage and TCO value that our customers demand.”

28TB Ultrastar® DC HC680 SMR HDD
Western Digital is driving the next big shift in cloud data center with SMR HDDs. At 28TB, the new Ultrastar DC HC680 SMR HDD provides the utmost in storage density for hyperscale, cloud and enterprise customers. Designed for sequential write workloads where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters, it targets environments such as bulk storage, online backup and archive, video surveillance, cloud storage, storage for regulatory compliance, big data storage, and other applications where data may be infrequently accessed. For the growing list of customers who have optimized their stacks to take advantage of the benefits of SMR, these drives enable continued time-to-market advantage of integrating the highest capacity HDDs on the market and scaling their product offerings in a lower-power footprint.

24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 CMR HDD
Continuing to deliver innovation at scale, the Ultrastar DC HC580 24TB CMR HDD with improved OptiNAND technology is the next leap in data density, allowing data center customers to maximize their storage within the same footprint, and in power-constrained environments. For better storage density, the HC580 can enable up to 612TB1 of raw storage per rack unit in a 4U 102-drive bay solution. These drives are also more power efficient, providing 12% less Watt/TB2 compared to the company’s previous 22TB version.

The Ultrastar DC HC680 and HC580 HDDs are currently being qualified by select hyperscalers, CSPs and OEM customers, and are now available for large enterprise customers looking for the highest capacity with lower power per terabyte for designing more efficient storage systems and data centers.

Ultrastar DC HC680 and HC580 SAS HDD versions will be available in CYQ1’24 (FYQ3’24).

Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 Hybrid Storage Platforms
The new Ultrastar drives are also being qualified and integrated into the company’s Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 JBOD hybrid storage platforms, which are key building blocks for designing next-generation disaggregated storage and software-defined storage (SDS) infrastructure. Each storage platform comes with unique IsoVibe™ and ArcticFlow™ technologies for improved performance and reliability. Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 platforms with the new HDDs will be available beginning next month.

WD Gold® 24TB1 CMR HDDs
Western Digital is also now shipping its 24TB WD Gold CMR SATA HDD into the channel. These drives are specifically designed for system integrators and resellers serving enterprises and SMBs who need more reliable storage for big data and enterprise storage workloads compared to traditional client HDDs. Leveraging innovations from the Ultrastar technology platform, the WD Gold 24TB HDD provides up to 2.5M hours MTBF (projected3), features vibration protection technology, is designed to handle workloads up to 550TB per year4 and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

About Western Digital
Western Digital is on a mission to unlock the potential of data by harnessing the possibility to use it. With Flash and HDD franchises, underpinned by advancements in memory technologies, we create breakthrough innovations and powerful data storage solutions that enable the world to actualize its aspirations. Core to our values, we recognize the urgency to combat climate change and have committed to ambitious carbon reduction goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Learn more about Western Digital and the Western Digital®, SanDisk® and WD® brands at www.westerndigital.com.

1 One gigabyte (GB) is equal to one billion bytes and one terabyte (TB) is equal to one trillion bytes. Actual user capacity may be less due to operating environment.
2 The 28TB Ultrastar DC HC680 SMR HDD offers 10% less Watt/TB at idle and for a random read 4KB QD=8 workload compared to the company’s previous generation 26TB SMR HDD. The 24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 and WD Gold CMR HDDs provide 12% less Watt/TB at idle and for random 50/50 read/write, 4KB QD=4 workloads compared to the company’s previous generation 22TB HDDs.
3 Final MTBF and AFR specifications will be based on a sample population and are estimated by statistical measurements and acceleration algorithms under typical operating conditions, typical workload and 40°C device-reported temperature. Derating of MTBF and AFR will occur above these parameters, up to 550TB/year and 60°C (device reported temperature). MTBF and AFR ratings do not predict an individual drive’s reliability and do not constitute a warranty.
4 Workload Rate is defined as the amount of user data transferred to or from the hard drive. Workload Rate is annualized (TB transferred X (8760 / recorded power-on hours)). Workload Rate will vary depending on your hardware and software components and configurations.

© 2023 Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Western Digital, the Western Digital design, the Western Digital logo, ArticFlow, IsoVibe, OptiNAND, Ultrastar and WD Gold are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products. Not all products will be available in all regions of the world.

This media alert contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements regarding expectations for future demand for data storage; the performance, reliability and impact of the company’s products, including with respect to total cost of ownership; the momentum of the company’s products in qualifications and in the market; the availability of particular products; technology trends and market opportunities. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.

Key risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include: volatility in global economic conditions; future responses to and effects of global health crises; the impact of business and market conditions; the impact of the company's planned separation of its HDD and Flash businesses, including with respect to customer and supplier relationships, contractual restrictions and the diversion of management’s attention from ongoing business operations and opportunities; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the company's development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; risks associated with cost saving initiatives, restructurings, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures and the company's strategic relationships; difficulties or delays in manufacturing or other supply chain disruptions; hiring and retention of key employees; the company's level of debt and other financial obligations; changes to the company's relationships with key customers; compromise, damage or interruption from cybersecurity incidents or other data system security risks; actions by competitors; risks associated with compliance with changing legal and regulatory requirements and the outcome of legal proceedings; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on August 22, 2023 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 7, 2023, to which your attention is directed. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events, except as required by law.