An innovative idea. I could have predicted the benefits of lower air resistance - but I was surprised to learn that helium is a better heat conductor than air. A nice added benefit. I hope that data recovery will still be possible on damaged disk drives. Will vendors have to supply their own helium atmosphere for data recovery?
Many years ago (almost eons) I worked with helium-charged cryo pumps and found that helium is sneaky stuff. WD would benefit from installing an O2 sensor in the drive so helium leakage out (and air leakage in) could be detected before catastrophic failure. It would still require drive replacement but the user might not experience a head crash. They could also do this with a current monitor and look for increased current on the drive motors.
I guess WD didn't get the memo that the WORLD is out of helium in a couple of decades.
And what a CRAPPY writeup with minimal engineering content or journalism (investigate the facts vs parrot them from the source).
The main benefit of helium, from what I know as an ENGINEER, is that its lower density allows a much lower flying height for the heads, delivering significantly higher bit density (those for you talking about "air resistance" or proposing a vacuum - is someone dumb enough to give you a paycheck these days?)....or is that a secret that WD's PR machine didn't want revealed via EET to the "dummies" at Seagate or Toshiba?
Of course the drive, which is essentially a Tesla turbine, will use much less power if you eliminate one or two of the platters....admittedly, Helium does have lower density, and does produce lower drag, but so does adding a mm or two to the case height, yet you still have the Tesla turbine pumping fluid if you keep the platter count the same.
And, for the record, it's HYDROGEN that cannot be contained for extended periods, not helium. Basic engineering, stuff you guys have forgotten with all your powerpoint.
Hello! What about the repairing(platter level)in such case one has to open the Hard disk platter so again inserting the airtight Helium gas would be quite challenging. Also that happens very rare...
Anyways, so bottom line the saving in power consumption & enhancement of storage is what everyone would prefer interesting...
Mylar balloons keep helium in for a good amount of time. So I think keeping helium in should be
a very doable thing for good manufacturers.
It would be good to have a oxygen or nitrogen sensor to prevent a drive failure though.
On the issue of saving energy, once again, nobody seems to actually think anymore, just parrot. For example, with all the fuss about electric cars, it is almost universally ignored that when they are used, they mostly burn coal! Not even debatable, but hurts the case of the blame-mankind save-the-world with One World Rule types.
And nobody at all compares the energy used to produce electric cars vs. fossil-burning reciprocating engine cars. Which would be the real issue, not to mention their compared longevity and disposal costs (in energy).
What, you ask, does this have to do with air vs helium-filled HDDs? By asking you prove my point!
Because the methodology would be the same for those not merely seeking acceptance for being politically correct, while pretending to be engineers.
Too bad I saw this article too late to comment early enough to elicit responses (flu, pneumonia, etc.).