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Technology Stocks : Western Digital (WDC)
WDC 57.70-0.2%Dec 1 3:59 PM EST

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From: Eric L7/26/2016 2:51:32 PM
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Western Digital SSD Acquisitions ...

... including SanDisk who also made several SSD acquisitions.

Who's who in SSD? - Western Digital

Zsolt Kerekes
June 2016

Western Digital's presence in the SSD market has developed by means of 7 successive acquisitions of SSD companies (so far).

I think it is inevitable - given the changes now taking place in the market, WDC's past failures to organically grow its own SSD IP base, and the growing gap which WDC has in the SSD market (particularly in the DIMM wars and NVMe markets) that more SSD companies and technologies will need to be acquired by WDC in the next 2 years.

Until May 2016 WDC's main surrogate and recycler of SSD IP within the enterprise SSD market was its subsidiary HGST. But the acquisition of SanDisk which closed in May 2016 brings with it a bigger quantity and range of SSD product lines and technologies than any of the previous acquisitions which were managed by HGST. I think that the scale of the SanDisk acquisition will mean that readjustments will have to be made about the roles of the various brands now under the control of WDC.

I wouldn't be surprised to see readjustments in the brands, With the stongest candidate in each case being repurposed for big markets such as consumer, enterprise and cloud.

WDC's key SSD acquisitions - from SSD acquisition history

For clarity - Western Digital is shown as the acquiring company below - although in some cases - the acquisitions were done by WDC's SSD surrogate HGST.

In March 2009 - Western Digital entered the SSD market by acquiring SiliconSystems for $65 million in a cash transaction. SiliconSystems was a Top SSD Company in the industrial SSD market. WDC didn't continue the development of the acquired product line into the MLC industrial era.

In March 2011 - Western Digital announced it would acquire HGST for approximately $4.3 billion. Although the primary motive was hard drives - the companies said they would put more resources into SSDs too. The acquisition took a year to complete, and as a result WDC acquired a SAS SSD product line.

In June 2013 - Western Digital announced it had agreed to buy Stec for approximately $340 million. Stec at the time had a market proven but ageing SAS SSD product line and an established market presence in the industrial and military SSD markets. WDC didn't maintain the military and industrial SSD product lines after the acquisition.

In July 2013 - Western Digital announced it had acquired VeloBit (an SSD software company operating in the SSD auto-caching market).

In September 2013 - Western Digital acquired Virident Systems (a leading PCIe SSD company) for approximately $685 million in cash.

In December 2014 - Western Digital acquired Skyera - which at that time - due to its unique big controller architecture - had a commanding lead in rackmount storage capacity density in the petabyte SSD market. WDC almost immediately after the acquisition end of lifed Skyera's product line. And although it is not yet clear where the acquired systems IP will be used - it has many possible applications within cloud focused rackmount systems.

In October 2015 - Western Digital agreed to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion. SanDisk at that time had entered the standard rackmount SSD market and had enterprise SSD product lines in the PCIe SSD market (primarily from Fusion-io), Software (from FlashSoft and other acquisitions) and SAS SSDs (from SMART Storage). SanDisk was also a leading supplier of consumer SSDs and flash memory. # # #

The two preceding tables are from an AnandTech article which is excerpted in the following post linked back to this one.

- Eric E-L -
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