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.