Today we learned that China-based Shenzhen Longsys Electronics Co., Ltd has acquired Lexar, a world leader in award-winning memory solutions.
In June, Micron announced it was killing off the retail brand to "focus on its increasing opportunities in higher value markets and channels." The announcement shocked many observers, because Lexar enjoyed a strong market position with 20 years of solid growth and a large network of distributors and retailers carrying the product line.
The Lexar portfolio includes memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives for retail and OEM customers. The blog post by Jay Hawkins went on to say that Micron was exploring opportunities to sell all or part of the Lexar business. The post also said that Micron will continue to provide support through the transition.
Longsys is one of China's largest manufacturers of flash-based devices. The company specializes in manufacturing embedded memory, solid state drives, memory cards, and USB flash drives. The company has told Tom's Hardware on a number of occasions about its desire to enter the U.S. market.
Even without a retail presence in the U.S. market, the company kept an office in California and attended many industry trade shows. Its website boasts of 500 patent applications since being established in 1999. We also tested its Foresee S500 client SSD in November 2015 and, at the time, it was the only product shipping with Silicon Motion's SM2256 controller.
The company has mastered the art of multi-chip packaging (MCP). Above is one of the most radical SSDs we've ever tested, the SDP (SATA Disk in Package). Longsys calls the form factor Mini SDP, and as you can see, it's the size of a SATA power and data connector. The drive features 3D TLC NAND flash and a controller in a package that's only 1.23mm thick.
Neither Longsys nor Micron have revealed details about this acquisition, but we learned that it was overseen by Longsys General Manager and flash-industry veteran Mike Chen, who came to the company in December 2016 from Micron. (He also has previous experience from his time at Marvell and Supermicro.) We'll be on the lookout for more information.
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I'd be curious what the actual flash drive market is like now. When you figure on the rise of cloud storage and sharing, market saturation and the like. I'd imagine the market has taken a hit.Reply
Most people have no need of a large capacity model. Odds are they have at least one and likely several.
Smartphones are moving away from SD card readers. I doubt most phone owners even bother to install one.
Digitial cameras and camcorders have been a long dying market. As smartphones satisfy most peoples needs. Mainly the market is down to hobbyists, pros and folks who haven't bought a smartphone yet.
My guess Micron realized it was time to jump ship while the Lexar brand was still valuable. Let someone else worry about that market.