A mission to unlock the potential of data by harnessing the possibility to use it is at the heart of the What’s Next Western Digital event.

In a series of keynotes delivered by company leaders, Western Digital also unveiled breakthrough HDD and Flash innovations inspired by the ways individuals and businesses use data to create what’s next.

In his opening remarks, David Goeckeler, CEO of Western Digital, commented on the rapidly expanding market that stems from modern computing. The growth of the cloud, the explosion of connected intelligent devices, and the ever-expanding amount of digital information created with these devices each day around the world, all demand more and more storage capacity.

Everything we do starts with the belief in human potential as it intersects digital innovation and in turn, creates possibility,” said Goeckeler. “Inspired by the many ways in which our customers use data and empowered by our strong go-to-market engine, we uniquely address the broad storage needs of our diverse customers, at any scale — from the smallest intelligent devices to the largest public clouds.

WD portfolio

Joined onstage by partners including AMD, Intel and Microsoft, Rob Soderbery, EVP and GM of the Flash Business Unit at Western Digital, reinforced the company’s commitment to deliver the purpose-built solutions that power the most important and exciting digital applications in the world today.

Innovating into the future starts with the right tools. We know that when people are given the tools to push boundaries, they are unstoppable,” said Soderbery. “From autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and augmented reality to computing, streaming and gaming, our flash products help to fuel our customers’ potential and allow them to perform at their best.

EVP and GM of the HDD Business Unit, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, addressed the changing economics of the data centre and introduced the industry’s first 22TB CMR and 26TB UltraSMR HDDs, built upon the foundation of a series of significant innovations cultivated over decades. In conversation with Dropbox, he illustrated Western Digital’s commitment to be a partner to cloud customers by delivering the innovations they need to achieve their goals.

As the areal density leader in the HDD industry, intentional innovation that delivers TCO for our customers is our greatest responsibility,” said Gorakhpurwalla. “We know that data is our customers’ most valuable asset, and we bring together the brightest minds to develop solutions for today’s exponential rate of data creation to enable deeper connections, new breakthroughs and smarter decisions.

 

New Product Innovations

Building on the expertise cultivated over 50 years of creating industry-leading technologies, Western Digital also introduced new flash and HDD products for cloud, client and consumer customers.

WD HDDs

The Cloud: Western Digital unleashed powerful new data storage solutions for cloud customers, including the industry’s first 22TB CMR and 26TB UltraSMR HDDs, and a new family of high-capacity PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSDs to help them design tiered-storage solutions more efficiently, and generate more value out of their infrastructure to help their customers’ data thrive.

The Way We Work Now: The new PCIe Gen4 Western Digital PC SN740 NVMe SSD addresses the unique needs of the hybrid workforce and elevates the computing experience with sequential read speeds up to 5,150MB/s in a thin, light, low-power design.

 

Creativity

Western Digital introduced the new SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE Modular SSD Ecosystem. Designed to meet the demands of capturing, transferring and preserving increasingly higher resolution content, the PRO-BLADE solutions enable professionals to save hours on transfers, save money for equivalent capacity, and reduce the volume and weight of their gear.

PRO BLADE Family

 

PRO-BLADE SSD Mag – A versatile NVMe SSD mag that powers the ultimate modular SSD ecosystem. The PRO-BLADE SSD mag allows users to scale the storage they need in an instant whether in the studio or on location. By loading the PRO-BLADE SSD mag into the portable PROBLADE TRANSPORT enclosure users can create a powerful portable SSD. When loading up to four SSD mags into the super-fast PRO-BLADE STATION desktop enclosure, users can build their most versatile media workflow yet. The PRO-BLADE SSD mag is ready for any location, delivering up to 3m drop and 4,000lbs crush resistance for on-the-go reliability.

PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT portable SSD enclosure – A premium portable and modular SSD for ultrafast workflow scalability. Pair multiple, lightweight PRO-BLADE SSD mags with the PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT portable USB-C (20Gbps) enclosure for up to 2000MB/s read and write speeds. The PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT device enables people to easily swap out PRO-BLADE SSD mags so they can carry terabytes of storage without excess bulk. Attach a PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT enclosure to a USB-C compatible camera rig for high-res recording directly onto the loaded PRO-BLADE SSD mag. Simply swap between SSD mags to keep rolling without interruption.

PRO-BLADE STATION desktop SSD enclosure – Optimised for professionals looking for the fastest way to ingest, copy, and edit their content, the PRO-BLADE STATION desktop system lets pros load up to four PRO-BLADE SSD mags at once creating a powerhouse Thunderbolt SSD device. The desktop SSD enclosure utilises a Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) interface so they can load and swap up to four high-capacity PRO-BLADE SSD mags at once for simultaneous offloading, real-time 4K/8K/12K editing, and super-fast copies. The PRO-BLADE STATION allows pros to take on their most demanding workloads yet with an exceptionally modular and scalable SSD workstation that empowers creativity.

 

Gaming

Western Digital unveiled two additions to its award-winning WD_BLACK gaming portfolio. Designed with performance and style in mind, the new WD_BLACK SN850X NVMe SSD and WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD, offer gamers more options to elevate their gaming experience so they can play at their best.

WD Black family

WD_BLACK SN850X NVMe SSD – Optimised for hardcore gamers looking for unparalleled performance, this powerful internal PCIe Gen4 SSD1 delivers breakneck read speeds of up to 7,300 MB/s. With minimised latency, predictive loading and adaptive thermals management, gamers can expect an
incredible gaming experience with fast load-times, rich visual experience and uncompromising thermal performance. The downloadable WD_BLACK Dashboard with its new Game Mode 2.0 (Windows® only) unlocks PC performance-boosting features so gamers can play, stream, record, and dominate at the top of their game. An optional heatsink (1TB and 2TB models) is available to help maintain peak performance and includes RGB lighting to complement any gaming rig.

WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD – Created for gamers looking for portable storage with both performance and style, the WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD features a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface and blazing read speeds of up to 2,000 MB/s paired with customisable RGB lighting (Windows only). The downloadable WD_BLACK Dashboard gives full control over the LED light display and can be synced with many existing RGB ecosystems for a setup that can be personalised to any gamer’s style. With a sleek, compact and shock-resistant design, it’s the perfect option for gaming on the go.