Western Digital Releases New Hard Drive That Utilizes AI

The 12TB Western Digital Purple Drive is said to have the capability to apply deep learning and artificial intelligence to enhance safety and security.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) has expanded its surveillance portfolio with the addition of the Purple 12TB hard drive with exclusive AllFrame AI technology.

In an announcement the company says the new release helps enable the surveillance industry’s evolution to increasingly higher resolution cameras and new applications requiring real-time edge analytics.

Western Digital bills the Purple 12TB hard drive as the industry’s highest capacity, deep-learning-capable, surveillance-class drive. It is said to create new possibilities in video surveillance by supporting the capture of multiple high resolution video streams while simultaneously accessing recorded video to support deep learning and analytics.

This capability is purpose-built for emerging DVR and NVR systems with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in that it supports real-time detection of AI-triggered events at the point of capture with continuous background learning, according to the company.

Traditional video surveillance systems detect moving subjects without providing detailed analysis. New systems enable additional functions such as real-time edge analytics to better detect objects and reduce false triggers. Objects such as animals, leaves and even light can cause false alarms. AI-enabled systems not only detect the moving targets, but can analyze them to help determine if they are a potential threat.

In addition, deep-learning algorithms go beyond simple movement detection to enable advanced capabilities such as facial recognition and behavior prediction to drive advancements in the retail and entertainment industries.

“Network video recording systems are getting smart,” says Brendan Collins, vice president product marketing, devices business unit, Western Digital. “AI-enabled NVRs are being architected for new GPUs and CPUs to improve overall deep-learning capability and to speed algorithms related to object recognition and facial recognition.

“NVRs with deep learning require greater storage capacity and more sophisticated processing, versus individual cameras, to perform more advanced analytics, such as location of an individual face image from weeks or months of stored video, or creation of traffic heat maps from hours of retail surveillance video.”

The Western Digital Purple 12TB surveillance-class drives enable higher capacity storage for all compatible video surveillance systems, according to the company. Western Digital Purple 10TB and 12TB capacities feature exclusive AllFrame AI technology designed specifically for AI-enabled systems. This is said to allow the drives to support up to twice as many AI channels (16 AI channels/32 AI streams) than competing drives.

The Purple surveillance-class drives are available through Western Digital’s authorized reseller network worldwide.

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