Seagate plans SSD push with LSI acquisition

May 30, 2014 // 10:31 a.m.

Tags: #bill-watkins #flash #lsi #nand-flash #nytro #sandforce #seagate #solid-state #solid-state-storage #ssd #steve-luczo

Storage giant Seagate has telegraphed a major push into solid-state technology, announcing the acquisition of LSI's flash-centric divisions from current owner Avago in a $450 million cash deal.

Seagate has long been a big name in spinning-rust storage, most recently boasting of plans to launch 10TB hard drives in the none-too-distant future, but its approach to solid-state storage has been softly-softly. The company has mainly focused on hybrid drives rather than pure solid-state drives (SSDs), combining small flash partitions with a traditional spinning-platter drive to speed the access of frequently-used data while still offering high capacities.

That's not to say that Seagate didn't offer pure SSDs for customers that demanded them, but comments made by chief executive Bill Watkins in 2008 positioned them as a poor alternative to mechanical drives. 'Realistically,' he claimed at the time, 'I just don't see the flash notebook selling.'

With Watkins departing as chief executive in 2009, Seagate has been eating its words ever since - and now plans to pick up the assets of long-term flash partner LSI from current owner Avago. The deal will see Seagate pay $450 million in cash for LSI's Accelerated Solutions Division and Flash Components Division, responsible for PCI Express storage products and the popular SandForce family of SSD controllers respectively.

'Seagate is committed to providing our customers with a complete range of storage solutions, and this acquisition will significantly enhance our flash storage offerings to supplement our existing portfolio,' claimed Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman and CEO, of the deal. 'LSI’s ASD business has the broadest PCIe flash product offering and intellectual property in the market today and the FCD business has best-in-class SSD controllers with proven support for a wide range of applications. This acquisition immediately boosts Seagate’s range and depth of flash storage capabilities today, and these teams bring to Seagate the expertise to accelerate our roadmap in this important and growing market.'

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