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Western Digital buys SSD entry

Western Digital buys SSD entry

Existing SiliconSystems products will be rebranded under the new Western Digital Solid-State Storage moniker as part of the deal.

Hard drive specialist Western Digital has finally made its grand entrance to the solid state device market with the purchase of SiliconSystems for a not inconsiderable $65 million.

As reported over on CNet yesterday, Western Digital – itself a market leader in 2.5” form factor drives for notebooks – will gain an entry into the growing market for solid-state storage devices with its purchase of SiliconSystems, whose ranges include SATA and PATA SSDs in 2.5” and 1.8” form factors as well as USB, PC Card, and CompactFlash devices.

In a statement yesterday Western Digital's chief executive officer stated that the move will provide “intellectual property and technical expertise [that] will significantly accelerate Western Digital's solid-state drive deployment programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets.

The move to integrated the newly purchased company starts immediately, with SiliconSystems to be rebranded as the Western Digital Solid-State Storage Business Unit. All existing SiliconSystems product lines are to be rebadged as Western Digital as part of the brand switch.

The move comes as many companies are looking to trim budgets rather than expand, but makes a lot of sense: although Western Digital has a good share of the laptop market through its traditional mechanical hard drives, it needs to find a way into the growing demand for low-power solid-state storage for netbooks and other highly portable devices. Clearly, the purchase of SiliconSystems gives it that entry point – as well as a range of ready-to-ship products and an established pedigree in the market.

Do you hope that Western Digital's purchase will help bring some innovation to the solid-state device marketplace, or is the $65 million investment a risky move in a slowing economy? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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yakyb 31st March 2009, 14:04 Quote
about bloody time


tbh what i think is needed is a form of hybrid. think a 60GB SSD ontop of a 1TB HDD which the OS sees as a SSD btu internally the Thing can transfer data to and from each as and when required
p3n 31st March 2009, 14:11 Quote
HDD's have had a cache for years, a 60GB cache wouldn't be used efficiently unless it had future telling algorythmn or set tasks (which would usually be cached in memory instead).
nicae 31st March 2009, 14:27 Quote
60GB cache? You'll be better off with seperate 1TB HDD + 60GB SSD. Then you could apply your future telling intelligence to deploy OS + critical data on the SSD and the big mass of data that doesn't need fast access on the HDD. Better yet: Give them to me! :P

On-topic: I think it's great news. I'm looking forward to seeing major HDD players applying their storage know-how into SSDs.
They really need to join the market quickly before they lose their brand power. I just hope their commercial presence doesn't push poor products into the whole channel!
wuyanxu 31st March 2009, 14:46 Quote
if you can't beat them, join them.

im glad WD entered SSD, im a WD fan and i'd put all my life worth of data on their drive (with backup of course) and relay on it. their drives are the best.

hopefully their SSD drives will continue to be quality drives
Mr T 31st March 2009, 15:51 Quote
They don't really have any choice really. Mechanical disks are a dieing market and if they don't keep up with the new SSD tech they will simply go under. I wonder what the likes of Seagate etc are planning. They must at least have drives in development.
perplekks45 31st March 2009, 16:58 Quote
I think it'll be quite a long time until mechanical HDDs are dead but I think it's good to have WD enter the SSD market. More competition, and from a company known for high quality products that is, is always good.
HourBeforeDawn 31st March 2009, 17:47 Quote
ya I agree with the first remark, I would like to see a hybrid veloci-raptor, have like 64gb of storage for the OS and main Apps, and then like 300gb (or higher with those speeds) in normal storage, now that would be awesome and then when the SSD market completely surpasses current HDD by a decent margin in all categories then make the move to full on SSD. :)
C-Sniper 31st March 2009, 18:02 Quote
Well about time, I think that WD will become a major player in this market. However, the question is if they can smoothly and efficiently switch from mechanical R&D to SSD R&D or balance the two efficiently. And also if they will make a good product.

Hopefully they will
TomH 31st March 2009, 20:46 Quote
I guess they found 20,000 RPM to be a little ambitious then. :)
Hamish 31st March 2009, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
I guess they found 20,000 RPM to be a little ambitious then. :)
or pointless?
seeing as SSDs are about 0.1ms access time, a normal 7200rpm disk about 10ms and a 15krpm velociraptor about 5 there seems little to gain from increasing spindle speeds
Stormwulf 31st March 2009, 23:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish

seeing as SSDs are about 0.1ms access time, a normal 7200rpm disk about 10ms and a 15krpm velociraptor about 5 there seems little to gain from increasing spindle speeds

Thought they were 10k rpm.

In honesty i agree though, ssd is the way to go preformance wise and its good to see a market leader entering the field. Normal hd's still rock for overall capacity vs budget though at present.
Hamish 1st April 2009, 00:18 Quote
oh yeah, i thought they'd increase it to 15 for the velociraptors for some reason

would still need huge spindle speeds to get anywhere near SSDs
LordPyrinc 1st April 2009, 01:33 Quote
Sounds like a good move for WD. SSDs are definitely looking like the way of the future.
Timmy_the_tortoise 1st April 2009, 02:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormwulf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish

seeing as SSDs are about 0.1ms access time, a normal 7200rpm disk about 10ms and a 15krpm velociraptor about 5 there seems little to gain from increasing spindle speeds

Thought they were 10k rpm.

In honesty i agree though, ssd is the way to go preformance wise and its good to see a market leader entering the field. Normal hd's still rock for overall capacity vs budget though at present.

Raptor was 10kRPM. Velociraptor was 15kRPM.
HourBeforeDawn 1st April 2009, 04:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormwulf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish

seeing as SSDs are about 0.1ms access time, a normal 7200rpm disk about 10ms and a 15krpm velociraptor about 5 there seems little to gain from increasing spindle speeds

Thought they were 10k rpm.

In honesty i agree though, ssd is the way to go preformance wise and its good to see a market leader entering the field. Normal hd's still rock for overall capacity vs budget though at present.

Raptor was 10kRPM. Velociraptor was 15kRPM.

velociraptors are also 10k, the only consumer well sorta consumer level 15k drives are Seagate Cheetah but they are blood expensive,
nicae 1st April 2009, 12:46 Quote
I'd buy SSDs with 10k spindle speeds... Spinning chips! Who can resist them?! :P
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