“We are constantly in search of better storage solutions to match the growth in our personal and professional content.”
From Big Data to Fast Data to Personal Data, most of the world is right now dependent on storage solutions. And when it comes to storage, Western Digital is one company that offers the best fits to the customer for their data storage requirement. With a global vision to create the best environment for data to thrive, the company offers best-in-class solutions.
In a recent interaction with Pahi Mehra from MyMobile, Jaganathan Chelliah, Director, Marketing for India region at Western Digital, shared his thoughts on the changing personal storage trends, how Covid-19 evolved the consumer behavior, and what kind of innovations are on the way!
According to you what is the future of NVMe Technology?
With our lives increasingly taking the digital route, our demands from our PCs are only increasing. We are constantly in search of better storage solutions to match the growth in our personal and professional content. NVMe technology helps boost the read and write speeds of our storage devices, allowing us to do more at faster speeds and at improved efficiency. Until recently, SSDs were based on SATA technology for data transfer which was primarily designed for HDDs. The transition from SATA to NVMe has been growing rapidly and you would see that more and more PCs are now coming with NVMe slots. The change has started to reflect with consumers now realizing the true potential of NVMe technology.
Western Digital has been a pioneer in integrating NVMe technology in both internal and portable SSD portfolios. The consumer experience and evolving demands have been well catered to with NVMe based solutions and we see this only growing from here.
What are the changing trends in personal storage?
The use of virtual platforms has become our new outing, while remote working has become the norm. Be it family get-togethers, office farewells, or even school annual days, people are sharing their life moments and creating memories on virtual platforms. Thus, it would be safe to say that we are currently amidst a data explosion.
PC users are upgrading their PCs for a better experience to SSDs from HDDs. Our WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD is an internal SSD that upgrades your PC and improves performance.
Another trend that we have seen is consumer behavior towards data backup. With data being generated at an exponential rate, taking regular backups has now become a must. We have a range of products including WD My Passport Portable SSD based on NVMe technology, which is a perfect backup device with an accelerated performance of up to 1050 Mbps read speeds.
We also see a prominent shift in the gaming segment as our research shows that Indians embrace gaming as a form of social interaction and entertainment in these distressing times. The new normal has further accentuated the adoption of multiplayer gaming, increased time spent, and PCs for an evolved experience. Our ‘Next-Gen Indian PC Gamer’ survey indicates that the key bottleneck in loading and playing large titles is the storage and not the processor or the graphics card. We have a robust gaming portfolio- WD BLACK that is designed and created especially for gamers.
How has COVID-19 changed consumer behavior from the perspective of content creation and consumption?
Be it work, learning, shopping, entertainment or simply challenging a friend to a game- we have become accustomed to the virtual way of life. Several individuals have become content creators and bloggers and many have resorted to gaming as their passion.
As per reports, we interact with more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, including images, high definition videos, apps, etc on an average every day. In this changing environment, we are witnessing a huge surge in user-generated content that is engaging audiences across various social platforms. We also see the content formats evolving to voice and video from texts and graphics. Another noteworthy change has been the video-led interactions for work-from-home and study-from-home environments. OTT content consumption was another key highlight for most of us in the lockdown phase which drives massive content generation. These trends put together fuel the growth of data and, therefore, increase storage requirements.
How important is the gaming segment for Western Digital?
The Indian gaming sector has been growing tremendously. During the pandemic, we saw an increasing interest in PC and mobile gaming. With one of the youngest populations, India is expected to be among the top gaming markets globally.
While India is a mobile-first market even in the aspect of gaming, many individuals are switching to PC gaming to enjoy a wholesome experience.
Our ‘Next-Gen Indian PC Gamer’ survey revealed that along with having a good graphic card to support high graphic games, having enough storage space is essential for gamers for faster upload time. As per the survey, 57% of the gamers stated that slow storage leads to a poor gaming experience. The survey further revealed that two in every five gamers had to make tough choices of deleting their favorite games due to lack of storage space so that they could have a better gaming experience. These findings inflict the need for fast and high-performing storage solutions that provide you with an immersive experience.
At Western Digital, we have a keen eye on the developments of this sector. Our WD BLACK portfolio is specially designed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing gaming ecosystem. We introduced two new devices to the WD BLACK portfolio- WD BLACK SN850 and AN1500 NVMe SSD add-in card. Both devices have been designed to provide more storage and to provide that added speed to the game. Keeping in mind that modern games need faster processes and are designed with advanced graphics.
What kind of innovations are you bringing for the Indian gamers?
The recently launched WD BLACK SN850 offers mindboggling read/write speeds of up to 7000/5300MB/s. To manage the thermals, it’s specially designed with heatsink technology making sure that the game never stops, and also features customizable RGB lighting.
When gamers face a lack of storage it slows down their overall gaming experience. According to our survey, 36% of gamers face slow loading time impacting their gameplay very much, and this an issue due to low storage and not due to the processor and GPU.
To help gamers solve their issue we designed the WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD which offers read speeds of up to 2000MB/s and up to 2TB of storage ensuring that the drive is fully compatible with new gaming components released. The drive adds a competitive edge to your gaming experience. The WD BLACK P10 Game Drive for Xbox is built keeping in mind gamers looking to expand storage capacity on Xbox and never having to delete their favorite game titles. A whopping 125 games can be stored on the drive and come in capacities up to 5TB.
We also introduced WD BLACK AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card especially for gamers looking to achieve next-gen performance in a current-gen setup, this fully bootable plug and play add-in card is one of the fastest PCIe Gen3 x8 solutions on the market allowing gamers to experience blazing fast read and write speeds up to 6500 MB/s and 4100MB/s respectively.
Further, we also have an HDD designed for gamers looking to expand the potential of their console or PC by saving their game library in an on-the-go form factor. The P10 Game Drive additional boosts the speed and overall performance and comes with a storage capacity of up to 5TB.
Factors that can increase gaming performance and offer an immersive gaming experience. Various innovations Western Digital is taking to democratize the gaming space?
Western Digital is focused on bringing the latest innovations to the storage segment for both PCs and smartphone gaming. For PC gamers, we have a tie-up with Activision and are offering three new Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War-themed SSDs in early January 2021: the WD BLACK Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Special Edition SN850 NVMe SSSD, P10 Game Drive, and P50 Game Drive SSD. These limited editions are designed for Call of Duty (COD) fans, and, as an added bonus, come with a free voucher to redeem COD points.
Additionally, Western Digital has the necessary technology to provide the right experience to smartphone gamers. We have a product called SanDisk Extreme MicroSD Card, it has the feature called A2, which allows faster app loading performance and up to 1TB storage. This helps you play the game faster and ensures that you get a great mobile gaming experience. However, mobile gaming has a few limitations- the screen size and the quality of experience. The experience of mobile gaming cannot be matched to the immersive experience of PC gaming.