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   Technology StocksWestern Digital (WDC)


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From: Eric L6/10/2016 10:48:08 AM
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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
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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
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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. # # #

- Eric L. -

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From: Eric L7/18/2016 1:24:47 PM
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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> <<

# # #

- Eric L -

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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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From: Eric L7/26/2016 2:51:32 PM
   of 11057
 
Western Digital SSD Acquisitions ...

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

Who's who in SSD? - Western Digital

Zsolt Kerekes
StorageSearch.com
June 2016

storagesearch.com

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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