back to article World's first 5mm-thin gyrating models paraded on disk catwalk

Western Digital has launched the world's first single-platter 5mm-thick disk drives - including one with a cache of flash memory. It's also announced an enterprise-class 2.5in drive in a 3.5in frame so as to ease migration from 3.5in performance to the XE, a 2.5in form factor. The single-platter 5mm-thick UltraSlims are …

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So, after years of research and development -

WD has found that an axle with bearings at either end is less susceptible to bending than one with just a single bearing? Well done!

Get the carriage and horses ready, Henry, I'm off to Irvine.

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Ru
Holmes

World's First?

I'm not totally certain that's true, if 'thin' and 'single platter' are the only requirements,

Anyone else remember the old IBM Microdrives? I've no idea if they were single platter, but I rather suspect they were. I have an old Hitachi version of the same lying around somewhere, maybe I should pop it open and see.

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Re: World's First?

Indeed. I had one in my old Palm Lifedrive, exactly the same size (and compatible with) CF cards as far as I recall.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: World's First?

Indeed. The Microdrive was the first...

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Robustness...

...is an interesting question. Back in an earlier life we had a rather embarrassing ARM build box which was an Compaq iPaq PDA with the PCMCIA backpack adapter. Into this was plugged a PCMCIA type II 1GB hard drive. This was the pre-flash days, so spinning rust was all there was.

The hard drive was a marvel of engineering, being 5mm thick, but it was dog slow and incredibly flimsy. It *bent* if you picked up without being careful, and for a device with moving parts that was scary. It lasted about six months before packing in (but by then we'd acquired a CATS box, so we didn't care).

I notice that these things dropped off the market soon afterwards and didn't come back. So I suspect there was some underlying engineering issue that hadn't been solved. (And then a few years later flash steamrollered them into the ground, of course.)

So I'd be interested to know what these things are like. A 2.5", 5mm drive is going to be thinner relative to its surface area than a PCMCIA drive.

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Go

Re: Robustness...

Don't forget the microdrive was used in the original ipod mini - my wife's 4GB one from, uh, maybe 2005, is still in working order. I don't think Apple would have committed to mass producing a portable consumer product with them in unless it was fairly robust....

.... or would they?

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Silver badge

2.5in drive in a 3.5in frame

I don't see much point for spinning discs, just use a 3.5" drive.

If it's for Flash it's hardly a new idea.

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Windows

Last single platter drive I worked with was an RL02. I find this new fangled stuff quite scarily fragile looking.

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