Western Digital delivers third generation WD PiDrive offering for Raspberry Pi users

WDLabs, the business growth incubator and accelerator of storage company Western Digital Corp., announced Wednesday availability of the WD PiDrive Foundation Edition products, which combine microSD card and USB drive functionality with operating system installation software to provide the Raspberry Pi community an integrated and highly affordable storage system solution for fast project creation.

The WD PiDrive Foundation Edition device is offered in three capacity versions: a 375GB disk drive, a 250GB disk drive and a 64GB flash drive. The 375GB and 250GB products include a WD PiDrive cable that ensures optimal powering of the hard drive and Raspberry Pi.

All versions include a microSD card preloaded with the custom NOOBS OS installer. Raspberry Pi’s official OS, Raspbian PIXEL, can be installed directly from the microSD card (no Internet connection required), in addition to up to five Project Spaces, depending on capacity available.

Raspbian PIXEL provides a familiar desktop environment and includes a web browser, productivity applications, programming tools, games and other features typically provided on desktop computers. Project Spaces are independent portions of the drive with Raspbian Lite, a minimal OS for building efficient yet sophisticated solutions via command-line programming.

Custom software, based on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Raspbian OS and NOOBS OS installer, is included with the new system and provides very easy installation of OSes on the USB drive. The large capacity of the drive enables an exclusive ‘Project Spaces’ feature, which allows installation of multiple instances of the core OS, creating independent spaces for project creation or support for multiple users with isolated work spaces.

“Raspberry Pi fans will absolutely love the WD PiDrive Foundation Edition,” said Matt Richardson, Product Evangelist for Raspberry Pi Foundation. “Not only is it a fantastic storage solution, but its Project Spaces feature is an innovation that will empower users with more possibilities for creation, experimentation, and fun with Raspberry Pi.”

“It is similar to about 30 years ago when hard disk drives went mainstream in PCs – no more swapping floppy disks in and out to load the OS, applications and data,” said Dave Chew, chief engineer, WDLabs. “This third generation WD PiDrive solution uses a USB HDD or USB Flash drive to run the OS and host multiple Raspberry Pi projects instead of having to do this on a collection of microSD cards. We have combined our technologies to work as a team.”

“We’re excited that WDLabs is tapping into Western Digital’s full portfolio of storage technology to support the growing needs of this market,” said Steve Campbell, executive vice president and CTO at Western Digital Corporation. “This community’s focus on education, invention and new product creation makes it an important segment to seed with new tools and scalable building blocks.”

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