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Monday, April 09, 2007
WD Introduces Hard Drives for Audio and Video Recording Products

Drawing on its expertise as a supplier to major consumer electronics and surveillance manufacturers worldwide, WD has designed its new 3.5-inch WD AV hard drives with technologies that provide the increased reliability, cooler and quieter operation and low power consumption required for these demanding environments.

With advanced features, WD AV hard drives are built specifically to operate in 24x7 environments, where the drive is always on, streaming audio and video content. WD AV drives are rated for reliability at one million hours MTBF, which is higher than standard desktop drives.

WD AV drives incorporate WD's ramp load feature, which parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is not operating. Contrary to drives without ramp load, the feature in WD AV drives improves non-operational shock tolerance and ensures that the recording head never touches the disk surface, reducing head and surface wear and enhancing long-term reliability.

Preemptive wear leveling (PWL) frequently sweeps the drive arm across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the drive surface, which is common in audio-video-streaming applications.

IntelliSeek technology proactively calculates an optimum seek speed to eliminate hasty movement of the actuator that produces noise and requires power. With IntelliSeek, the actuator's movement is controlled so the head reaches the next target sector just in time to read the next piece of information, rather than rapidly accelerating and waiting for the drive rotation to catch up. This smooth motion reduces power usage of WD AV hard drives by more than 60 percent compared with standard drives, as well as quiets seek operation and lowers vibration. Additionally, the ramp load feature reduces power consumption during spin up and the drive's electronics have been optimized to save power for audio and video applications.

WD utilizes multi-stage formed stainless steel top covers and precision-designed base castings that minimize sound levels for consumer sound-sensitive applications. The result is WD AV drives emit less than one sone, which is virtually below the threshold of human hearing.

The SilkStream technology in WD AV drives delivers as many as 12 simultaneous high-definition streams and is based on the industry-standard ATA specification for universal compatibility. Mainstream surveillance video recorders save images at a slower pace than high-definition video, and in that application WD AV hard drives record up to 16 standard-definition streams.

WD AV drives are currently available with EIDE and SATA interfaces in capacities ranging from 80 GB to 500 GB.

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