WDC: To Split, or Not to Split?

Photo of log being split with an axeWestern Digital’s Board of Directors was sent a letter recently by activist shareholder Elliott asking for the company to be split into two parts: one for HDDs and one for flash.  The reason given was that the company’s SanDisk acquisition was not performing well.

Elliott currently holds a 6% stake in WDC.

According to an article in Reuter’s, Elliot’s letter said: Continue reading “WDC: To Split, or Not to Split?”

Should WDC Acquire Kioxia?

Single star from the post's second chart.Over the past couple of months rumors asserted that Western Digital (WDC) was in talks to acquire joint venture partner Kioxia.  This is not the first time such rumors have emerged.  In November of 2020, when Kioxia was expected to make its initial public offering, WDC was rumored to be in such talks, and before that, in early 2017, when Toshiba first started to plan to spin off its NAND flash and SSD business, WDC was rumored to Continue reading “Should WDC Acquire Kioxia?”

Micron’s Tiny Little 2TB SSD

Photo of top of tiny m.2 SSDMicron has been moving very quickly for the past couple of years, and that has led to the company’s undisputed leadership in NAND flash layers and DRAM process nodes.  The first to ship 176-layer NAND flash chips a year ago, and now 176-layer QLC NAND, Micron packs a huge amount of storage into a single chip.  Since it uses a CUA (CMOS Under Array) architecture, the die size is perhaps Continue reading “Micron’s Tiny Little 2TB SSD”

Using AI to Manage Internal SSD Parameters

Old wise man with a disk symbol coming out of his headFor a long time The SSD Guy has meant to write something about the budding use of AI in SSDs.  It’s an interesting approach whose time has come.

If you’re not conversant with AI, and maybe find the whole subject to be daunting, don’t worry.  AI comes in many forms, and some are very simple.  When major Internet firms like Google and Facebook use AI to Continue reading “Using AI to Manage Internal SSD Parameters”

Solidigm, SK hynix’ New SSD/Flash Subsidiary

Solidigm LogoWhile many of us, The SSD Guy included, were preparing for our New Year’s celebration, SK hynix, on December 30, closed the first phase of the company’s takeover of Intel’s NAND flash and SSD business, and created a new subsidiary that has been named Solidigm.

This is the first of two phases of the acquisition, which the companies agreed to in October 2020.  With this move, SK hynix has Continue reading “Solidigm, SK hynix’ New SSD/Flash Subsidiary”

Micron’s Big Product Launch: The 7400 Series

Photo showing all seven form factors of Micron's 7400 series of SSDMicron announced last week (6 Oct., ’21) a family of datacenter SSDs, the NVMe 7400 series, in a roll-out that includes more product versions than The SSD Guy ever has seen in a single announcement.

Micron calls this product series: “the broadest selection of Continue reading “Micron’s Big Product Launch: The 7400 Series”

WDC Rearchitects the HDD

Pretty sketch of an HDD with a lightningbolt representing NAND flashWestern Digital today announced a change to the architecture of HDDs that the company showed can increase an HDD’s capacity and performance without changes to the heads, media, or mechanics.   Since the design, called OptiNAND, involves a good bit of NAND flash, The SSD Guy decided that it warranted discussion here.

That, and the fact that the company said Continue reading “WDC Rearchitects the HDD”

New SSDs Dedicated to Chia

Photo of terra cotta Chia Pet bust of Joe BidenPNY sent The SSD Guy an interesting press release about a new SSD designed for use in Chia plotting operations.

For those unfamiliar with Chia, it’s not the silly Chia Pets (like the Joe Biden Bust in this post’s graphic) that use vegetation to replicate hair, but is instead a new cryptocurrency somewhat similar to Bitcoin.  We are told that Chia uses “Proof of Space and Time” models for mining rather than the “Proof of Work” models that Bitcoin employs.  While that means that Bitcoin’s approach is compute intensive, Chia’s takes advantage of unused Continue reading “New SSDs Dedicated to Chia”

Failures Plague SSDs

Pomander from Organic AuthorityOver the past year there has been a rash of SSD failures unmatched by any prior year.  This came to a head a month ago when Apple’s M1 Mac started to show undue SSD wear.  It seems that people trapped at home and working remotely have taken up new habits on their notebook PCs (most of which now use SSDs) and these habits are causing their SSDs to wear out faster than they have in other, more normal years.

The “Work from Home” phenomenon has not only caused Continue reading “Failures Plague SSDs”

Intel Discontinues Optane Consumer SSDs. Is This Important?

Intel Optane Memory M10 Press PhotoOn Friday, January 15, Intel announced the discontinuation of certain of the company’s Optane SSDs for consumers PCs.  Naturally this is making Optane users curious about the future of the entire product line.  Is this a big move?

In a word: “No.”  It’s a relatively small part of overall Optane shipments, and it is probably Continue reading “Intel Discontinues Optane Consumer SSDs. Is This Important?”