Western Digital Enters SSD Arena

Now we're getting serious.

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!

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