WD starts shipping 12TB helium filled hard drive

Running low on storage space? WD aims to solve that problem in spades with its new 12-freaking-terabyte HGST Ultrastar He12 hard drive. it is intended for enterprise deployment but could just as easily be slapped into a consumer PC (assuming you can get your hands on one).

This is WD's fourth generation HelioSeal drive, which features helium inside. The benefit of using helium is that it is much less dense than air, which in turn enables the use of thinner disks while still maintaining a stable recording interface.

The Ultrastar He12 ships in a standard 3.5-inch chassis. It is available with either a SATA 6Gbps or SAS 12Gbps interface, both of which are Advanced Format drives.

For this generation, WD added an eight disk. That's two more than the highest capacity air-based enterprise drive, and it's what enabled WD to offer 12TB of storage space.

"This additional capacity provides for increased storage density, reducing associated data center infrastructure required to store a given amount of data. It also encompasses a low-power design without compromising performance, which helps reduce overall cost of ownership. The Ultrastar He12 HDD is perfect for any application that requires massive amounts of cost-effective storage," WD says.

WD's new drive features a 7,200 RPM spindle and a beefy 256MB cache. That translates into sustained transfer rate of 255MB/s.

There is no word on price, though WD says the new drive has begun shipping to distribution. It is backed by a 5-year warranty.