Western Digital promises new hard drive is optimised for Raspberry Pi and can aid storage-intensive projects with greater reliability and power efficiency
Western Digital is releasing a new, more affordable hard drive for the Raspberry Pi, promising the unit is designed to maximise the power efficiency and reliability of the credit-card sized computer.
The storage firm has released optimised drives for Raspberry Pi before, including a 1TB HDD, but hopes the WD PiDrive 314GB, the capacity of which and the launch day (Pi day) are no coincidence, will make it cheaper and more efficient for users to indulge in data-hungry projects.
WDLabs, the division of Western Digital responsible for the hard drive, says the latest device is designed to be easy to integrate with all versions of the Raspberry Pi and that its magnetic recording systems and electrical systems optimised with those of the computer. This, it says, minimises energy use without affecting the data rate on a USB connection.
Raspberry Pi hard drive
The company has also worked with the developer of BerryBoots, a free piece of software that allows users to run multiple operating systems, to create a special version for the PiDrive that lets users select which OS they want when the Raspberry Pi is switched on.
“Adoption of Raspberry Pi computing devices is expanding at a faster rate than the PC. However, the millions of Raspberry Pi users are finding limitations from data storage devices (SD card, USB hard drive or cloud storage) originally designed for other applications,” said Dave Chew, chief engineer at WDLabs, a division of Western Digital.
“The WD PiDrive 314 GB HDD is designed to support Raspberry Pi growth by addressing barriers to hard drive adoption such as affordability, power loading and system set-up. In addition, we’ve maintained the key strengths of hard drive technology, including mass-storage value, high data integrity and reliability.”
The Raspberry Pi 3 was released on the fourth anniversary of the launch of the original device, adding integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a more powerful processor. So far, eight million units have been sold to educational institutions, hobbyists and businesses. It is hoped the additional connectivity will boost the popularity of the computer for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The Raspberry Pi has been supported by a range of accessories since its launch in 2012 and its founders are hopeful the latest addition will spur on development.
“With the extended capabilities of Raspberry Pi 3, we can’t wait to see what new projects our community comes up with,” said Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO. “WD PiDrive 314GB gives our members a low-cost, purpose built hard drive solution that helps them develop even more innovative and unique ways to use Raspberry Pi.”
The PriDrive 314GB usually costs $45.81, or £32, but there is a limited time discount that reduces the price to $31.42, or a less Pi-friendly £21.95.