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