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Western Digital Enters the SSD Race

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Western Digital today announced that it will officially enter the SSD race with the acquisition of SiliconSystems.

Up until this point, major HDD manufacturers, save for Samsung, seemed reluctant to start making SSDs. Instead, you saw drives coming out left and right from companies that had never made storage devices in any significant capacity--USB drives don't count.

Known for its line of Raptor and Caviar drives, Western Digital is in a good position to capitalize on SSD demand. Its VelociRaptor drive is currently the fastest consumer HDD on the market, but even it cannot stand a chance against the fastest SSDs. Now with SiliconSystems in its portfolio, Western Digital is poised to make a big impact on both SSD technology itself and its adoption rate.

SiliconSystems had been focusing on SSDs for the last several years, but its customers are larger businesses with heavy IT infrastructures. Despite this, SiliconSystems will bring a wealth of goodies with it to WesternDigital.

According to the press release:

These markets accounted for approximately one third of worldwide solid-state drive revenues in 2008. SiliconSystems' product portfolio includes solid-state drives with SATA, EIDE, PC Card, USB and CF interfaces in 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, CF and other form factors. SiliconSystems has developed extensive intellectual property to address the stringent embedded systems market requirements to ensure data integrity, eliminate unscheduled downtime, protect application data and software and provide for data security and protection through its patented and patent-pending PowerArmor®, SiSMART®, SolidStor® and SiSecure™ technologies.

Western Digital has setup a brief Q&A to answer some questions in regards to its SiliconSystems acquisition. The acquisition commences immediately, and Western Digital says that it plans to keep all of SiliconSystems employees--roughly 100 people.

Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    kyeana , March 30, 2009 5:28 PM
    The more the better. Competition ftw
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    kyeana , March 30, 2009 5:28 PM
    The more the better. Competition ftw
  • 3 Hide
    grieve , March 30, 2009 5:39 PM
    No Doubt, this is good news for us.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    ph3412b07 , March 30, 2009 6:12 PM
    Nice, I want to see the Intel X-25 series meet its match in terms of efficient drive logic and raw performance.
  • 8 Hide
    DrT , March 30, 2009 6:23 PM
    Good luck to them. If they can bring down the cost of the Intel X series they'll make alot of people happy.
  • 5 Hide
    eklipz330 , March 30, 2009 9:25 PM

    now lets see some velociraptor crack edition speeds
  • 2 Hide
    tipoo , March 30, 2009 10:03 PM
    Sweet, maybe someone will be able to dethrone the X-25.
  • 2 Hide
    Zoonie , March 30, 2009 11:14 PM
    Let's hope WD can push the SSD's as far as they've pushed conventional HDD's!
  • 2 Hide
    JonnyDough , March 31, 2009 9:48 AM
    Wish I had had stock in SiliconSystems just prior to the announcement.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , March 31, 2009 12:21 PM
    jonnydoughWish I had had stock in SiliconSystems just prior to the announcement.

    Buy some Palm stock, Dell may be buying them out ;-)
  • -1 Hide
    hannibal , March 31, 2009 1:31 PM
    What is the best part is that we may see some mixed systems. It would be nice to see an hard disk with integrated ssd parner. I could offer good performance of sdd and capicity of traditional hd in same paccage. Ofcource I don't have any idea how well that kind of combination would work, but it would be interesting to see.
    The sdd would be like somekind of buffer memory between the system and hd. Can anyone say if it sould be usefull solution?
  • -1 Hide
    AngryClown , March 31, 2009 2:13 PM
  • 2 Hide
    AngryClown , March 31, 2009 2:16 PM
    EPIC announcement!

    I am a WD fanboi, but even people who dislike the brand should see the benefits to come from this. It's a win/win/win for enthusiasts. The only down side to the tech world right now: when to start the new build? So many changes looming...
  • 0 Hide
    komag , March 31, 2009 4:02 PM
    Yes , at last , WD sure FTW
  • 1 Hide
    jfriend , March 31, 2009 4:30 PM
    WD should definitely leverage its Raptor/Velociraptor brand name by creating a less expensive SSD line and a higher-performance line.
  • 1 Hide
    JonnyDough , March 31, 2009 6:40 PM
    tipooBuy some Palm stock, Dell may be buying them out ;-)

    I don't get it. Why would I want to throw my money onto a sinking ship? Here's hoping anyway.