Western Digital acquires SanDisk and becomes a memory super power.

by JamesNYCOctober 21. 2015 22:37

 

Major hard drive maker Western Digital has announced that it is acquiring SanDisk, one of the biggest and most familiar names in flash storage, creating a new global memory giant of sorts.

Western Digital says the deal, which involves acquiring a combination of cash and SanDisk stock valued at about US$19 billion, will double its addressable market and give it long-term, lower-cost access to solid state technology.

Both companies argue that the acquisition is beneficial to shareholders, but what it will mean for consumers will depend upon how successful a newly swollen Western Digital can be at using Sandisk's resources to create new and innovative storage products.

A long term joint venture between Sandisk and Toshiba, which holds claim to the invention of NAND Flash memory technology back in 1987, surely sweetens the deal for Western Digital and adds some capability when it comes to newer memory technologies like 3D NAND.

The deal still requires approval by SanDisk shareholders. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

 

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Samsung boosts storage of high-capacity SSDs to a hefty 2 TB

by JamesNYCJune 6. 2015 09:26

Samsung looked to usher in the consumer adoption of solid state drives (SSDs) back in 2013 with the launch of its speedy EVO series. It continues to forge ahead with its high-capacity vision for consumer-oriented, flash memory storage solutions with the addition of a pair of 2TB SSDs to its lineup.

The newest members of Samsung's SSD family are powered by the company's proprietary 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, which it first unveiled in 2013. This brings the total range of products in its SSD lineup to 20, ranging in capacity from 120 GB up to the whopping new 2 TB options.

The drives are housed in the same 7 mm, 2.5-in aluminum casing as previous models and comprise 32 layers of 128 GB 3D V-NAND flash chips and an improved MHX controller to better support the 2 TB format. Also inside are four 20 nanometer-class 4Gb LPDDR3 DRAM chips.

Samsung has launched two versions, the 2 TB 850 EVO and 2 TB 850 PRO. The PRO variants have traditionally promised slightly better read/write speeds and reliability. Though Samsung is yet to release technical details on the new drives, it is guaranteeing the PRO model for 10 years or 300 TB written, and the EVO model for five years or 150 TB written.

The 2 TB 850 EVO is expected to cost US$800 and the 2 TB 850 PRO $1,000. There's no official release date yet, but they will be available to buy in 50 countries. Samsung also says that it has plans to extend the 3D V-NAND SSD lineups to include mSATA and M.2 form factors.

 

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SanDisk targets enterprise customers with world's first 4 TB 2.5-inch SSD

by JamesNYCMay 5. 2015 09:22

Flash-based solid state drives (SSDs) have historically been the poor cousins to platter-based HDDs in terms of storage capacity, making them a poorer option for enterprise applications. But SanDisk is looking to change things with its new Optimus MAX SSD, the world's first 2.5-inch Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD packing 4 TB of storage capacity.

Touting the new drive as the first true replacement for legacy mission-critical data center SAS HDDs, SanDisk claims the 4 TB Optimus MAX SSD allows enterprises to maintain their current SAS storage infrastructures, while providing improved, cost-effective performance, and generating less heat and consuming less power than HDDs.

Just exactly how cost effective the new drive is remains to be seen as SanDisk hasn't revealed pricing details, but it is claiming sequential read/write speeds of up to 400/400 MB/s and random read/write speeds of up to 75,000/15,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) for the drive via its SAS 6 Gb/s interface.

Although the thought of slotting a 4 TB SSD into your laptop might sound appealing, SanDisk is targeting the drive at read-intensive applications with typical workloads made up of a read/write ratio of 90/10. This includes data warehousing, media streaming, web servers, video on demand (VOD), and web-based applications.

"Customers have been looking for a way to transition their data centers from HDDs to NAND flash, but have been forced to decide between cost and performance, or give up important functionality," says John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "We believe that the Optimus MAX will be a disruptive force within the storage industry, catalyzing many organizations to make the switch from their HDD-prominent data center infrastructures to SSDs."

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