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Western Digital Enters SSD Arena

Gordon Kelly


Western Digital Enters SSD Arena

We wondered how long the big boys could stay out...

Perhaps signalling a sea change from the major HDD manufacturers is news today that Western Digital has completed the acquisition of SiliconSystems, a leading supplier of solid state drives for the embedded systems market for $65m in cash. All 100 employees will be retained.

With a traditional target market of network-communications, industrial, embedded-computing, medical, military and aerospace this may not seem like a consumer friendly purchase but SiliconSystems is highly diverse. It currently offers a product portfolio including SSDs with SATA, EIDE, PC Card, USB and CF interfaces in 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, CF and other form factors and current clients suggest it is big on reliability - a famed Achilles heel for the SSD market so far.

"We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "The combination will be modestly accretive to revenue and margins as a result of SiliconSystems' existing position as a trusted supplier to the well-established $400 million market for embedded solid-state drives. SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements."

Integration into WD begins immediately, with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the 'WD Solid-State Storage Business Unit'. I give it 12 months before we see this tech filtering into consumer ready upgrades... tops!


http://www.wdc.com/en/company/releases/PressRelease.asp?release={0E640FB5-2931-4BC0-8595-7A6ABC20FB5A Press Release}

Invester Q&A


March 30, 2009, 10:13 pm

What are people's predictions of when SSD will be the standard drive in say the higher end laptop market (&#163800+) from HP, Acer and the like. I hope they will conicide with Windows 7 release in the first quarter of 2010 - which is supposed to be "optimised" for SSD use. Or am I being optemistic?!


March 30, 2009, 10:16 pm

I don't think they'll be 'standard' as such until 512GB is an affordable size as otherwise the capacity compromise is likely to be seen as too much. That said, I expect it to be a widely available upgrade option by the end of the year.

I run an X25-M, I couldn't go back to HDDs now!


March 30, 2009, 11:11 pm

As soon as 150 - 200 GB drives come down a bit in price I'm dumping the Raptor and using one as my system drive (where the difference in speed should be quite dramatic). Maybe for the install of Jaunty Jackelope :)

Media storage can stay on my normal hard discs as speed is virtually irrelevent here. Well until SSDs become as cheap as chips anyway.

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