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From: FJB3/27/2016 3:49:11 PM
   of 11057
 
Where’s My Petabyte Disk Drive?
Posted on 27 March 2016 by Brian Hayes
Fourteen years ago I noted that disk drives were growing so fast I couldn’t fill them up. Between 1997 and 2002, storage capacity doubled every year, allowing me to replace a 3 gigabyte drive with a new 120 gigabyte model. I wrote:

Extrapolating the steep trend line of the past five years predicts a thousandfold increase in capacity by about 2012; in other words, today’s 120-gigabyte drive becomes a 120-terabyte unit.

Extending that same growth curve into 2016 would allow for another four doublings, putting us on the threshold of the petabyte disk drive (i.e., <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-1-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="1015" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">10151015 bytes).

None of that has happened. The biggest drives in the consumer marketplace hold 2, 4, or 6 terabytes. A few 8- and 10-terabyte drives were recently introduced, but they are not yet widely available. In any case, 10 terabytes is only 1 percent of a petabyte. We have fallen way behind the growth curve.

The graph below extends an illustration that appeared in my 2002 article, recording growth in the areal density of disk storage, measured in bits per square inch:



The blue line shows historical data up to 2002 (courtesy of Edward Grochowski of the IBM Almaden Research Center). The bright green line represents what might have been, if the 1997–2002 trend had continued. The orange line shows the real status quo: We are three orders of magnitude short of the optimistic extrapolation. The growth rate has returned to the more sedate levels of the 1970s and 80s.

What caused the recent slowdown? I think it makes more sense to ask what caused the sudden surge in the 1990s and early 2000s, since that’s the kink in the long-term trend. The answers lie in the details of disk technology. More sensitive read heads developed in the 90s allowed information to be extracted reliably from smaller magnetic domains. Then there was a change in the geometry of the domains: the magnetic axis was oriented perpendicular to the surface of the disk rather than parallel to it, allowing more domains to be packed into the same surface area. As far as I know, there have been no comparable innovations since then, although a new writing technology is on the horizon. (It uses a laser to heat the domain, making it easier to change the direction of magnetization.)

As the pace of magnetic disk development slackens, an alternative storage medium is coming on strong. Flash memory, a semiconductor technology, has recently surpassedmagnetic disk in areal density; Micron Technologies reports a laboratory demonstration of 2.7 terabits per square inch. And Samsung has announced a flash-based solid-state drive (SSD) with 15 terabytes of capacity, larger than any mechanical disk drive now on the market. SSDs are still much more expensive than mechanical disks—by a factor of 5 or 10—but they offer higher speed and lower power consumption. They also offer the virtue of total silence, which I find truly golden.

Flash storage has replaced spinning disks in about a quarter of new laptops, as well as in all phones and tablets. It is also increasingly popular in servers (including the machine that hosts bit-player.org). Do disks have a future?



In my sentimental moments, I’ll be sorry to see spinning disks go away. They are such jewel-like marvels of engineering and manufacturing prowess. And they are the last link in a long chain of mechanical contrivances connecting us with the early history of computing—through Turing’s bombe and Babbage’s brass gears all the way back to the Antikythera mechanism two millennia ago. From here on out, I suspect, most computers will have no moving parts.

Maybe in a decade or two the spinning disk will make a comeback, the way vinyl LPs and vacuum tube amplifiers have. “Data that comes off a mechanical disk has a subtle warmth and presence that no solid-state drive can match,” the cogniscenti will tell us.

“You can never be too rich or too thin,” someone said. And a computer can never be too fast. But the demand for data storage is not infinitely elastic. If a file cabinet holds everything in the world you might ever want to keep, with room to spare, there’s not much added utility in having 100 or 1,000 times as much space.

In 2002 I questioned whether ordinary computer users would ever fill a 1-terabyte drive. Specifically, I expressed doubts that my own files would ever reach the million megabyte mark. Several readers reassured me that data will always expand to fill the space available. I could only respond “We’ll see.” Fourteen years later, I now have the terabyte drive of my dreams, and it holds all the words, pictures, music, video, code, and whatnot I’ve accumulated in a lifetime of obsessive digital hoarding. The drive is about half full. Or half empty. So I guess the outcome is still murky. I can probably fill up the rest of that drive, if I live long enough. But I’m not clamoring for more space.

One factor that has surely slowed demand for data storage is the emergence of cloud computing and streaming services for music and movies. I didn’t see that coming back in 2002. If you choose to keep some of your documents on Amazon or Azure, you obviously reduce the need for local storage. Moreover, offloading data and software to the cloud can also reduce the overall demand for storage, and thus the global market for disks or SSDs. A typical movie might take up 3 gigabytes of disk space. If a million people load a copy of the same movie onto their own disks, that’s 3 petabytes. If instead they stream it from Netflix, then in principle a single copy of the file could serve everyone.

In practice, Netflix does not store just one copy of each movie in some giant central archive. They distribute rack-mounted storage units to hundreds of internet exchange points and internet service providers, bringing the data closer to the viewer; this is a strategy for balancing the cost of storage against the cost of communications bandwidth. The current generation of the Netflix Open Connect Appliance has 36 disk drives of 8 terabytes each, plus 6 SSDs that hold 1 terabyte each, for a total capacity of just under 300 terabytes. (Even larger units are coming soon.) In the Netflix distribution network, files are replicated hundreds or thousands of times, but the total demand for storage space is still far smaller than it would be with millions of copies of every movie.

A recent blog post by Eric Brewer, Google’s vice president for infrastructure, points out:

The rise of cloud-based storage means that most (spinning) hard disks will be deployed primarily as part of large storage services housed in data centers. Such services are already the fastest growing market for disks and will be the majority market in the near future. For example, for YouTube alone, users upload over 400 hours of video every minute, which at one gigabyte per hour requires more than one petabyte (1M GB) of new storage every day or about 100x the Library of Congress.

Thus Google will not have any trouble filling up petabyte drives. An accompanying white paper argues that as disks become a data center specialty item, they ought to be redesigned for this environment. There’s no compelling reason to stick with the present physical dimensions of <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-2-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="212" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">212212 or <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-3-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="312" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">312312 inches. Moreover, data-center disks have different engineering priorities and constraints. Google would like to see disks that maximize both storage capacity and input-output bandwidth, while minimizing cost; reliability of individual drives is less critical because data are distributed redundantly across thousands of disks.

The white paper continues:

An obvious question is why are we talking about spinning disks at all, rather than SSDs, which have higher [input-output operations per second] and are the “future” of storage. The root reason is that the cost per GB remains too high, and more importantly that the growth rates in capacity/$ between disks and SSDs are relatively close . . . , so that cost will not change enough in the coming decade.

If the spinning disk is remodeled to suit the needs and the economics of the data center, perhaps flash storage can become better adapted to the laptop and desktop environment. Most SSDs today are plug-compatible replacements for mechanical disk drives. They have the same physical form, they expect the same electrical connections, and they communicate with the host computer via the same protocols. They pretend to have a spinning disk inside, organized into tracks and sectors. The hardware might be used more efficiently if we were to do away with this charade.

Or maybe we’d be better off with a different charade: Instead of dressing up flash memory chips in the disguise of a disk drive, we could have them emulate random access memory. Why, after all, do we still distinguish between “memory” and “storage” in computer systems? Why do we have to open and save files, launch and shut down applications? Why can’t all of our documents and programs just be everpresent and always at the ready?

In the 1950s the distinction between memory and storage was obvious. Memory was the few kilobytes of magnetic cores wired directly to the CPU; storage was the rack full of magnetic tapes lined up along the wall on the far side of the room. Loading a program or a data file meant finding the right reel, mounting it on a drive, and threading the tape through the reader and onto the take-up reel. In the 1970s and 80s the memory/storage distinction began to blur a little. Disk storage made data and programs instantly available, and virtual memory offered the illusion that files larger than physical memory could be loaded all in one go. But it still wasn’t possible to treat an entire disk as if all the data were all present in memory. The processor’s address space wasn’t large enough. Early Intel chips, for example, used 20-bit addresses, and therefore could not deal with code or data segments larger than <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-4-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="220˜106" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-indent: 0px; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">220˜106220˜106 bytes.

We live in a different world now. A 64-bit processor can poentially address <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-5-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="264" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-indent: 0px; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">264264 bytes of memory, or 16 exabytes (i.e., 16,000 petabytes). Most existing processor chips are limited to 48-bit addresses, but this still gives direct access to 281 terabytes. Thus it would be technically feasible to map the entire content of even the largest disk drive onto the address space of main memory.

In current practice, reading from or writing to a location in main memory takes a single machine instruction. Say you have a spreadsheet open; the program can get the value of any cell with a load instruction, or change the value with a store instruction. If the spreadsheet file is stored on disk rather than loaded into memory, the process is quite different, involving not single instructions but calls to input-output routines in the operating system. First you have to open the file and read it as a one-dimensional stream of bytes, then parse that stream to recreate the two-dimensional structure of the spreadsheet; only then can you access the cell you care about. Saving the file reverses these steps: The two-dimensional array is serialized to form a linear stream of bytes, then written back to the disk. Some of this overhead is unavoidable, but the complex conversions between serialized files on disk and more versatile data structures in memory could be eliminated. A modern processor could address every byte of data—whether in memory or storage—as if it were all one flat array. Disk storage would no longer be a separate entity but just another level in the memory hierarchy, turning what we now call main memory into a new form of cache. From the user’s point of view, all programs would be running all the time, and all documents would always be open.

Is this notion of merging memory and storage an attractive prospect or a nightmare? I’m not sure. There are some huge potential problems. For safety and sanity we generally want to limit which programs can alter which documents. Those rules are enforced by the file system, and they would have to be re-engineered to work in the memory-mapped environment.

Perhaps more troubling is the cognitive readjustment required by such a change in architecture. Do we really want everything at our fingertips all the time? I find it comforting to think of stored files as static objects, lying dormant on a disk drive, out of harm’s way; open documents, subject to change at any instant, require a higher level of alertness. I’m not sure I’m ready for a more fluid and frenetic world where documents are laid aside but never put away. But I probably said the same thing 30 years when I first confronted a machine capable of running multiple programs at once (anyone remember Multifinder?).

The dichotomy between temporary memory and permanent storage is certainly not something built into the human psyche. I’m reminded of this whenever I help a neophyte computer user. There’s always an incident like this:

“I was writing a letter last night, and this morning I can’t find it. It’s gone.”

“Did you save the file?”

“Save it? From what? It was right there on the screen when I turned the machine off.”

Finally the big questions: Will we ever get our petabyte drives? How long will it take? What sorts of stuff will we keep on them when the day finally comes?

The last time I tried to predict the future of mass storage, extrapolating from recent trends led me far astray. I don’t want to repeat that mistake, but the best I can suggest is a longer-term baseline. Over the past 50 years, the areal density of mass-storage media has increased by seven orders of magnitude, from about <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-6-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="105" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-indent: 0px; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">105105 bits per square inch to about <span class="MathJax" id="MathJax-Element-7-Frame" tabindex="0" data-mathml="1012" role="presentation" style="border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; display: inline; line-height: normal; text-indent: 0px; text-align: left; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; position: relative; background: transparent;">10121012. That works out to about seven years for a tenfold increase, on average. If that rate is an accurate predictor of future growth, we can expect to go from the present 10 terabytes to 1 petabyte in about 15 years. But I would put big error bars around that number.

I’m even less sure about how those storage units will be used, if in fact they do materialize. In 2002 my skepticism about filling up a terabyte of personal storage was based on the limited bandwidth of the human sensory system. If the documents stored on your disk are ultimately intended for your own consumption, there’s no point in keeping more text than you can possibly read in a lifetime, or more music than you can listen to, or more pictures than you can look at. I’m now willing to concede that a terabyte of information may not be beyond human capacity to absorb. But a petabyte? Surely no one can read a billion books or watch a million hours of movies.

This argument still seems sound to me, in the sense that the conclusion follows if the premise is correct. But I’m no longer so sure about the premise. Just because it’s mycomputer doesn’t mean that all the information stored there has to be meant for my eyes and ears. Maybe the computer wants to collect some data for its own purposes. Maybe it’s studying my habits or learning to recognize my voice. Maybe it’s gathering statistics from the refrigerator and washing machine. Maybe it’s playing go, or gossiping over some secret channel with the Debian machine across the alley.

We’ll see.

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From: Eric L6/10/2016 10:48:08 AM
   of 11057
 
WDC's SanDisk Corporation acquisition completed (May 12, 2016) ...


wdc.com

IRVINE, Calif. — May 12, 2016 — Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Western Digital Technologies, Inc. has completed the acquisition of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK). The addition of SanDisk makes Western Digital Corporation a comprehensive storage solutions provider with global reach, and an extensive product and technology platform that includes deep expertise in both rotating magnetic storage and non-volatile memory (NVM).

The Company also indicated that the debt financing associated with this transaction has been consummated and that the previously obtained funds from this financing have been released from escrow to Western Digital Technologies, Inc.

“Today is a significant day in the history of Western Digital,” said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer of Western Digital. “We are delighted to welcome SanDisk into the Western Digital family. This transformational combination creates a media-agnostic leader in storage technology with a robust portfolio of products and solutions that will address a wide range of applications in almost all of the world’s computing and mobile devices. We are excited to now begin focusing on the many opportunities before us, from leading innovation to bringing the best of what we can offer as a combined company to our customers. In addition, we will begin the work to fully realize the value of this combination through executing on our synergies, generating significant cash flow, as well as rapidly deleveraging our balance sheet, and creating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”

The integration process will begin immediately through the joint efforts of teams from both companies. As previously announced, Steve Milligan will continue to serve as chief executive officer of Western Digital, which will remain headquartered in Irvine, California. Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of SanDisk, will serve as a member of the Western Digital Board of Directors, effective immediately.

“As a combined company, we will be best positioned to address the demands for data storage, which is growing exponentially every year,” said Sanjay Mehrotra. “Growth and change go hand in hand, and we couldn’t be happier to grow and change together with Western Digital. I look forward to contributing to realizing the potential of this combination as a member of the board.”

Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding share of SanDisk common stock was converted into the right to receive $67.50 per share in cash and 0.2387 shares of Western Digital common stock.

SanDisk shareholders looking for information with regard to the payment of the merger consideration should review the Public FAQ available in the Investor Relations section of our website at investor.wdc.com or click here.

About Western Digital

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers. For more information, please visit www.hgst.com , www.wd.com , and www.sandisk.com .

# # #



More of the FAQ in re shareholsers here: wdc.com

The October 21, 2015 original announcement is here: wdc.com

Regulatory Approvals (below): wdc.com

May 10, 2016 — Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) ("Western Digital" or the "Company") today announced that it has received regulatory approval from China's Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") in connection with the planned acquisition by Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital, of SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) ("SanDisk"). The MOFCOM decision completes the regulatory review process required for this transaction. Western Digital expects the transaction to close on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

"We are pleased to have received approval from MOFCOM, the final regulatory milestone for our combination with SanDisk," said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer of Western Digital. "We look forward to closing the transaction and to integrating our two global businesses to create the leading storage solutions company."

The transaction has also received regulatory approvals in the U.S., E.U., Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey. Western Digital and SanDisk shareholders voted to approve the transaction at their respective special meetings of shareholders held on March 15, 2016.

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L6/17/2016 9:48:05 AM
1 Recommendation   of 11057
 
Looking Back: 'Market Realist' Contrasts Sandisk's & Western Digital's CQ1 earnings pre-Merger ...

... in a very good 9 part series by Paige Tanner on May 4, 2016:

marketrealist.com

1. | SanDisk’s Fiscal 1Q16 Results: What a Surprise!

2. | Why SanDisk Returned to Growth after a Year of Revenue Declines

3. | Western Digital’s Fiscal 3Q16 Earnings Miss Analyst Estimates

4. | How Did SanDisk’s Product Mix Drive Revenue Growth?

5. | Why SanDisk’s Consumer Segments Drove Revenue Growth

6. | What’s the Role of Enterprise Solutions in SanDisk’s Future?

7. | How Strong Are SanDisk’s and Western Digital’s Balance Sheets?

8. | The Future of Western Digital after Merger with SanDisk

9. | Why SanDisk Stock Is Hovering Near the Top of Its 52-Week Range

With the merger completed Western Digital will conclude its Q4 2016 and FY 2016 fiscal year at the end of this month (June 30, 2016).

# # #

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L6/17/2016 4:57:44 PM
   of 11057
 
Looking Back: Tough 2016 for Western Digital and Seagate ...

>> Why Have Seagate and Western Digital Had Such a Tough 2016?

Adam Rogers
Market Realist
May 4, 2016

marketrealist.com

Mizuho’s lowered target price for Seagate

The share prices of Seagate Technology (STX) and Western Digital (WDC) fell significantly when Seagate lowered its fiscal 3Q16 guidance. It happened again when Seagate announced its fiscal 3Q16 results on April 29. Seagate’s shares fell by 13% in the week ending January 22, 2016, after the investment company Mizuho cut its price target for the company from $38 to $32 and provided a “neutral” rating on the stock.



Meanwhile, SanDisk’s (SNDK) shares fell by 9.9%, whereas shares of Western Digital fell by 9.1% in the week ending January 22. Shares of WDC have fallen by over 45% in the past six months, after it agreed to buy SanDisk in yet another big deal in the semiconductor space on October 21, 2015. Shares of Seagate have also fallen by over 35% since the merger announcement.

The global HDD market

Western Digital and Seagate account for 80% of the global HDD (hard disk drive) market. In the past few years, the HDD market has shrunk, whereas the SSD (solid state drive) market has expanded.

Western Digital has also acquired Hitachi’s hard drive business. Hitachi is a major player in Japan’s (EWJ) technology sector, and now Western Digital is projected to account for 14% of the SSD market after its proposed merger with SanDisk, which would make it the second-largest player in this space after Samsung Electronics (SSNLF).

Falling prices of storage products

As you can see in the above table, SSD and HDD prices have been falling, and they’re expected to continue to fall in coming years. These falling prices have increased the adoption of SSDs in laptops.

DRAMeXchange Senior Manager Alan Chen expects the SSD adoption rate in new consumer laptops to rise from an estimated 26% in 2015 to 42% in 2017. ###

The article posted above is part 4 of a 5 part article and the full article can be read at the link below:

>> What Seagate's Fiscal 3Q16 Earnings Mean for All of Us

Adam Rogers
Market Realist
May 4, 201g

marketrealist.com

1.| Look What Just Sent Seagate’s Stock Spiraling Downward

2.| How Lower HDD Shipments Affected Seagate Revenues

3.| Why Is a Decrease in Operating Costs so Important to Seagate?

4.| Why Have Seagate and Western Digital Had Such a Tough 2016?

5.| The Word on the Street: What Analysts Are Saying about Seagate Technology

# # #

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L7/1/2016 9:59:27 AM
1 Recommendation   of 11057
 
M&A: Western Digital + Sandisk Infographic ...




- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L7/1/2016 10:11:38 AM
   of 11057
 
This Board: Looking Back before Moving Forward ...

A few months back I poked my head in here to reacquaint myself with the almost 60 year old Storage Technology Device Industry and catch up with what has transpired in recent yeas as the industry increasingly transitions from Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to Solid State Drives (SSDs). What I found was that while this board was quite active in the late nineties, only 6 posts had been made here in the last 5 years.

The popular SI Sandisk board now hosted by clean86 became the 'WDC/Sandisk Corporation' board in October 2015 after WD's Irvine, CA based wholly-owned subsidiary Western Digital Technologies completed the acquisition of SanDisk Corporation and began the integration process. In May of this year Sam created the 'WDC, NAND, NVM, enterprise storage systems, etc.' board where discussion has focused on WDC as an investment and/or trading opportunity.

This board is intended to complement the other 2 currently active Western Digital boards not compete with them and my own personal initial focus will be on:

• Historical: The HDD Industry History

• M&A: The Mergers and Acquisitions that have reduced the major HDD industry players to 3

• WD History: Including Intel/Hitachi background, Hitachi GST, HWD GST, And WD/Sandisk

• Integration: Completing the integration of HGST, Sandisk, and other acquired entities

• WD Products

WD concluded it's 2016 fiscal year yesterday and I'm looking forward to The FY Earnings Report, the CC and subsequent publication of the 10K and Annual Report. Beyond that I'll post occasionally and others are invited to do the same. Perhaps someone else will poke their head in and contribute. It's premature to turn out the lights here. The original board header was created in 1996 and I've updated it. I've also made 4 posts prior to this related to the Sandisk acquisition.

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L7/5/2016 10:19:25 AM
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Toshiba/Western Digital Flash Memory Production Increased Investment

>> Report : Toshiba, Western Digital Commit 1.5 Tln Yen On Flash Memory Production

July 04, 2016
RTT News

nasdaq.com

Toshiba (TOSYY.PK, TOSBF.PK) and U.S. partner Western Digital will commit 1.5 trillion yen or $14.6 billion over three years toward stepping up flash memory production at their jointly run Japanese plant, in a bid to widen global market share, Nikkei reported.

Western Digital inherited the operational tie-up at the Yokkaichi plant in Mie Prefecture when the hard-disk producer took over American rival SanDisk in May. The site in central Japan will receive a new fabrication facility, with new equipment to be installed in the existing production space. This round of capital spending over three years is about 30% more than previous comparable periods.

The plan is to boost 3-D memory production, with such chips accounting for 50% of the segment in fiscal 2017 and exceeding 80% in fiscal 2018.

The report noted that Western Digital will match Toshiba's expenditures in the segment over that three-year period. The two companies will likely spend approximately 1.5 trillion yen on the Yokkaichi plant, of which Toshiba possesses the land and the buildings. The time frame for the spending will be adjusted in tune with market conditions.

The sharing of cost burdens will raise investment efficiency. Yokkaichi's flash memory production capacity will be roughly double that of Samsung's flagship plant. In addition, plants operated by Samsung and the American joint venture of Intel and Micron Technology are dispersed across several locations.

# # #

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L7/10/2016 10:35:20 AM
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Western Digital CFO Transition: Mark Long succeeds Olivier Leonetti as CFO

>> Western Digital Announces CFO Transition

Western Digital Press Release
Irvine, CA
July 6, 2016

wdc.com

Mark Long Appointed EVP, Finance; Will Succeed Olivier Leonetti as CFO on Sept. 1; Company Announces Preliminary Fourth Fiscal Quarter Financial Results and Earnings Date of July 28

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced the appointment of Mark Long to oversee the company’s finance organization as executive vice president, finance, in addition to his role as chief strategy officer. Long will succeed Olivier Leonetti as chief financial officer on Sept. 1, 2016. Leonetti is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities but will continue as CFO through Sept. 1, 2016, reporting to CEO Steve Milligan, and will oversee the completion of the company’s fiscal year-end reporting requirements. He will continue in an advisory role to the CEO through Oct. 1, 2016.

“The company is going through a strategic and organizational transformation with the integration of our HGST and WD subsidiaries as well as integrating the recently completed acquisition of SanDisk,” said Milligan. “Although in the early stages, we are already seeing the benefits of these strategic steps. As we build on our strategy-driven focus in a tightly integrated manner, it is the right time to combine the strategy and finance organizations and Mark Long is the right leader of this integrated team, with his extensive experience in financial and strategic planning. Olivier Leonetti has made a tremendous contribution to Western Digital in nearly two years as CFO. He played a key role through the successful planning, financing and completion of the SanDisk acquisition. The company is grateful for his contribution and his continued stewardship of our finances through the fiscal year-end reporting process.”

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at Western Digital, particularly the successful completion of the transaction with SanDisk,” said Leonetti, who joined WDC as CFO in 2014. “Western Digital has a first-class executive team and I am confident that the finance and strategy organization is in good hands with Mark.”

“I am honored to succeed Olivier and look forward to working with the entire team as we continue on the path of long-term value creation for all of our stakeholders,” said Long. “I cannot think of a more exciting time to step into this position as we integrate and evolve. There are significant opportunities ahead of us as we come together and strive to reach our potential as the leading storage solutions provider.”

Long has served as the chief strategy officer at Western Digital and HGST over the past three years and will continue in that role. He played a lead role in conceiving, executing and completing the SanDisk acquisition in addition to several other acquisitions.

Preliminary Fourth Fiscal Quarter Financial Results; Sets Q4 Earnings Call for July 28th

The company also reported preliminary financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended July 1, 2016. Reflecting the ownership of SanDisk Corp. as of May 12, 2016, the company now expects its fourth quarter revenue to be approximately $3.46 billion, compared to its earlier forecast of $3.35 billion to $3.45 billion. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be approximately 31 percent, consistent with its earlier forecast. The company now expects fourth quarter EPS, on a non-GAAP basis, to be approximately $0.72, compared with its earlier forecast range of $0.65 to $0.70.[1] The company will report its final results for the fourth fiscal quarter after the market closes on July 28, 2016. # # #

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From: Eric L7/18/2016 1:24:47 PM
2 Recommendations   of 11057
 
Toshiba and Western Digital Open New Fab 2 Semiconductor Fabrication Facility in Japan



Toshiba Corporation and Western Digital Corporation
Yokkaichi, Japan and Irvine, Calif.
Joint Ptress Release
July 15, 2016

wdc.com

Toshiba Corporation and Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today celebrated the opening of the New Fab 2 semiconductor fabrication facility located in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, Japan.

Expanded use of flash memory in smartphones, SSDs, and other applications is driving continued growth of the global flash memory market. The New Fab 2 facility will support the conversion of the companies' 2D NAND capacity to 3D flash memory, allowing realization of solutions offering higher densities and better device performance.

Construction of New Fab 2 began in September 2014. Following partial completion of the facility in October 2015, Toshiba and SanDisk (acquired in May 2016 by Western Digital Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation) worked together to implement leading-edge manufacturing capabilities for mass production of 3D flash memory, and first-phase production started in March of this year. The parties intend to further invest to expand production capacity over time, depending on market conditions.

In addition, Yokkaichi operations will leverage the site-wide integrated production system, which employs big data processing to analyze over 1.6 billion data points each day, to further improve manufacturing efficiency and the quality of 3D flash memory.

The parties are committed to working together to enhance the value they offer to customers and to continue innovation as market leaders.

Satoshi Tsunakawa, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation, said, "Advanced technologies underline our commitment to respond to continued demand as an innovator in flash memory. We are enhancing manufacturing efficiency and the quality of our world-class facility. Building on that, we also plan investments of as much as 860 billion yen by FY2018, in line with the market situation. Our commitment is firm, and we are confident that our joint venture with Western Digital will produce cost competitive next generation memories at Yokkaichi."

Steve Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of Western Digital, said, "As a leader in non-volatile memory products and solutions, we are excited to be entering the 3D NAND era with our partner Toshiba. The New Fab 2 enables us to begin the conversion of our existing 2D NAND capacity to 3D NAND and continues our long-standing presence in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, and Japan."

Overview of the New Fab 2

Structure of building: 2-Story steel frame concrete, five floors
Building area: Approximately 27,600m2
Start of construction: September 2014
Building completion: July 2016



About Toshiba: Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into three focus business fields: Energy that sustains everyday life, that is cleaner and safer; Infrastructure that sustains quality of life; and Storage that sustains the advanced information society. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, "Committed to People, Committed to the Future", Toshiba promotes global operations and is contributing to the realization of a world where generations to come can live better lives. Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today's Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of 550 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion). (As of March 31, 2016.) Visit: www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

About Western Digital: Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers. For more information, please visit www.hgst.com, www.wd.com and www.sandisk.com ###

Background on the WD/Toshiba JV

>> [July 04, 2016 | Nikkei] Toshiba snd U.S. partner Western Digital (WD) will commit $14.6 billion over three years toward stepping up flash memory production at their jointly run Japanese plant, in a bid to widen global market share. Western Digital inherited the operational tie-up at the Yokkaichi plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan when the theyr took over American rival SanDisk in May. The site in central Japan will receive a new fabrication facility, with new equipment to be installed in the existing production space. ... The plan is to boost 3-D memory production, with such chips accounting for 50% of the segment in fiscal 2017 and exceeding 80% in fiscal 2018. <<

Message 30647304

>> Toshiba likely to bless a SanDisk-Western Digital deal (analysts)

Devika Krishna Kumar and Natalie Grover
Reuters
October 14, 2015

finance.yahoo.com

Toshiba, SanDisk's partner in making memory chips, is more likely to sign off on a potential takeover of SanDisk by hard drive maker Western Digital than by rival memory chip maker Micron, analysts said. Micron Technology Inc and Western Digital Corp are in talks with SanDisk Corp about a possible acquisition, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The report came after months of intense speculation about imminent consolidation in the memory chip industry as a supply glut and cheaper products from China continue to drive down prices.

SanDisk will require Toshiba's approval to consummate a deal with either party. SanDisk uses Toshiba's foundries to make its chips and the two companies have an important intellectual property-sharing joint venture.

If Micron, which has its own foundries, buys SanDisk, Toshiba is likely to lose a lot of business. Moreover, Micron has a growing presence in the NAND-flash memory chips market and a tie up with SanDisk will immensely increase competition for the Japanese tech leader.

NAND-flash memory chips power solid-state drives, which are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, Western Digital' mainstay. SSDs are used in cloud computing, data centers, smartphones and laptops. "From Micron's perspective ... you could take out two competitors at once," Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri said. "If you can extricate SanDisk from the Toshiba JV, then you've taken Toshiba out of the NAND business and you've taken out SanDisk as well ... this would really catapult you to number 2. status behind Samsung." ... <Snip Rest> <<

# # #

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From: Eric L7/26/2016 9:34:36 AM
   of 11057
 
Western Digital announces next-gen 64 Layer 3D NAND

>> Western Digital Announces World’s First 64 Layer 3D NAND Technology

256 Gigabit 3-Bits-Per-Cell Chip is the Smallest in the Industry

Western Digital Press Release
Irvine, California
July 26, 2016

businesswire.com

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it has successfully developed its next generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS3, with 64 layers of vertical storage capability. Pilot production of the new technology has commenced in the Yokkaichi, Japan joint venture facilities and initial output is expected later this year. Western Digital expects meaningful commercial volumes of BiCS3 in the first half of calendar 2017.

“The launch of the next generation 3D NAND technology based on our industry-leading 64 layer architecture reinforces our leadership in NAND flash technology,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, Western Digital. “BiCS3 will feature the use of 3-bits-per-cell technology along with advances in high aspect ratio semiconductor processing to deliver higher capacity, superior performance and reliability at an attractive cost. Together with BiCS2, our 3D NAND portfolio has broadened significantly, enhancing our ability to address a full spectrum of customer applications in retail, mobile and data center.”

BiCS3, which has been developed jointly with Western Digital’s technology and manufacturing partner Toshiba, will be initially deployed in 256 gigabit capacity and will be available in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip. Western Digital expects volume shipments of BiCS3 for the retail market in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 and to begin OEM sampling this quarter. Shipments of the company’s previous generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS2, continue to customers in retail and OEM. ###

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