Western Digital's HGST - formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies - has fired another salvo in its ongoing spinning-rust density war with rival Seagate, announcing the world's first 10TB 3.5" hard drive.

Based on the company's HelioSeal technology, which replaces the air inside the hard drive with helium in order to reduce friction and improve heat transfer, the new 10TB drive features Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) to increase areal density to never-before-seen levels. The result: a single 3.5" Ultrastar drive that can store 10TB of data, handily beating Seagate's recently-announced 8TB equivalent.

There is a catch, of course: while the 10TB drive does exist, it is being produced only in limited samples. Enterprise customers friendly with their local Western Digital rep are being pointed instead towards the company's new Ultrastar HE8 8TB model, with the 10TB version slowly heading towards the mass market. Those opting to buy the drives rather than wait for the 10TB model will, HGST has claimed, find a drive that offers 23 per cent lower power than their previous-generation equivalents.

What neither HGST nor its parent company Western Digital are sharing at present is pricing information on the new drives, but with it did make a surprising announcement at the same time as the 8TB launch: it is to abandon traditional air-filled drives altogether, moving its entire enterprise production exclusively to helium-filled HelioSeal models with a view to having produced its last non-helium enterprise drive by 2017.
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