Western Digital delivers 314 GB drive that boosts growing Raspberry Pi community



WDLabs, a business growth incubator of storage solutions vendor Western Digital Corp., announced Monday availability of the WD PiDrive 314GB, a storage device engineered to serve the Raspberry Pi community with low-power USB operation, affordability, reliability and ease of integration.

The WD PiDrive 314GB device is based on Western Digital’s proven, high-volume 500GB platform with design changes made specifically for Raspberry Pi. Customizations made to the drive’s magnetic recording and electrical system operating set-points align with Raspberry Pi’s USB data and power design to reduce the electrical power load of the hard drive on Raspberry Pi, while still maintaining sufficient performance to deliver maximum USB data transfer rate.

Raspberry Pi 3 is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi 2), featuring a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU (~10 times the performance of Raspberry Pi 1); comes integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1, and is compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2.

Raspberry Pi 3 includes Broadcom’s new SoC BCM2837 that retains the same basic architecture as its predecessors BCM2835 and BCM2836, so all those projects and tutorials which rely on the precise details of the Raspberry Pi hardware will continue to work. The 900MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU complex has been replaced by a custom-hardened 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53.

Combining a 33 percent increase in clock speed with various architectural enhancements, this provides a 50 to 60 percent increase in performance in 32-bit mode versus Raspberry Pi 2, or roughly a factor of ten over the original Raspberry Pi.

Platform design flexibility and the manufacturing tuning process enabled WDLabs to create this specialized product for Raspberry Pi without compromising quality and reliability.

WDLabs and the author of BerryBoot, a highly regarded, well-established and free software solution that simplifies the loading of multiple software applications, have created a special version of BerryBoot for WD PiDrive device customers, which includes software applications featuring the use of mass-storage devices with Raspberry Pi.

Many operating systems and software applications can be stored on the WD PiDrive HDD, taking complete advantage of the 314GB of storage. Upon system boot-up, the OS can be selected from the BerryBoot menu and launched with a couple of mouse clicks.

Designed for Raspberry Pi, the WD PiDrive 314GB HDD is compatible with all WD PiDrive cables, cable kits and WD PiDrive enclosures. Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price is US$45.81 with a limited-time discount of 31.4 percent for a net price of $31.42.

“Adoption of Raspberry Pi computing devices is expanding at a tremendous rate, reaching eight million units in about four years. 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, WDLabs. “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 WD PiDrive 314GB HDD comes with a two-year limited warranty and, along with WD PiDrive accessories, is currently available online at the WD Store.

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