New Interest in Monster-SSDs

Ugly scary SSD with tentacles, frowning yellow eyes, and a shark-like mouth full of pointy teethWhile listening to the most recent quarterly earnings calls The SSD Guy learned that there’s suddenly a lot of interest in 60-100TB SSDs for the data center.  What I didn’t hear was a strong understanding of why that is happening, although four of the five the leading flash companies say that it is driven by AI.  (Kioxia hasn’t reported yet.) Some say these SSDs are being used for training applications, while others say Continue reading “New Interest in Monster-SSDs”

WDC Stealthily Announces More Details for HDD/Flash Split

Historical microphotograph of a cell splitting into two.On March 5 Western Digital issued an announcement updating the company’s plan to divide its HDD and flash businesses into two independent companies in the second half of this year.

The flash part of the business will be spun out with current WDC CEO David Goeckeler as “CEO Designate.”  No further Continue reading “WDC Stealthily Announces More Details for HDD/Flash Split”

It’s Official: WDC to Split into HDD & Flash Parts

During the company’s October 30 earnings call Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler started the conversation with the revelation that the company would be split into two, with a new flash-only company to be created in the process.  This plan, intended to increase the company’s shareholder value, was the outcome of a process triggered by activist shareholder Elliott in May 2022, which was the subject of a couple of Continue reading “It’s Official: WDC to Split into HDD & Flash Parts”

SNIA CXL Webinar

The SNIA logoOn June 27, The SSD Guy moderated a 1-hour CXL webinar, sponsored by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).  The slides are already online at the SNIA Educational Library, and a recorded video is available on BrightTalk.  Both attendees and those who missed it can now take advantage of this rare collection of Continue reading “SNIA CXL Webinar”

Optane’s Legacy, Part III: Memory Expansion and Security

Photo of an Optane DIMM

A lot of folks believe that when Intel’s Optane is gone there will be nothing left but the story of its rise and fall.  That is far from the truth.  Optane has created a legacy of developments that will find use in computing for quite some time.

In this three-part series The SSD Guy blog reviews Optane’s lasting legacy to reveal six changes that it has brought to computing architecture in its short lifetime.

Each of the three parts covers two new developments:


This third and final post will cover Optane’s new approach to memory expansion and the new security Continue reading “Optane’s Legacy, Part III: Memory Expansion and Security”

Would WDC Really Merge with Kioxia?

Column Chart comparing WDC's and Kioxia's margins for the past 12 quartersEver since Toshiba decided to spin out its memory business in 2017, leading to the creation of Kioxia, there have been rumors of Western Digital (WDC) acquiring it, or of Kioxia acquiring WDC’s flash memory business.

There is a new spate of merger rumors in response to Elliott Management’s proposal last May that Continue reading “Would WDC Really Merge with Kioxia?”

Optane’s Legacy, Part II: Two-Speed Memory and Latency Handling

Photo of an Optane DIMM

A lot of folks believe that when Intel’s Optane is gone there will be nothing left but the story of its rise and fall.  That is far from the truth.  Optane has created a legacy of developments that will find use in computing for quite some time.

In this three-part series The SSD Guy blog reviews Optane’s lasting legacy to reveal six changes that it has brought to computing architecture in its short lifetime.

Each of the three parts covers two new developments:


This second post will cover Continue reading “Optane’s Legacy, Part II: Two-Speed Memory and Latency Handling”

Optane’s Legacy, Part I: New Programming Paradigm and Instructions

Photo of an Optane DIMMA lot of folks believe that when Intel’s Optane is gone there will be nothing left but the story of its rise and fall.  That is far from the truth.  Optane has created a legacy of developments that will find use in computing for quite some time.

In this three-part series The SSD Guy blog reviews Optane’s lasting legacy to reveal six changes that it has brought to computing architecture in its short lifetime.

Each of the three parts covers two new developments:


Intel’s Optane, the new memory/storage technology that was Continue reading “Optane’s Legacy, Part I: New Programming Paradigm and Instructions”

Supporting a Dynamic SATA Market

Just the four letters S, A, T, and ANobody seems to talk about SATA SSDs much anymore, even though there’s still a vibrant market.  NVMe is garnering all the attention.  Of course, that should come as no surprise.  While SATA is an extension of an interface designed around HDDs, NVMe was designed specifically for NAND flash.

Still, lots of Continue reading “Supporting a Dynamic SATA Market”

Another Perspective on a WDC Split

Western Digital logo splitting int the WD logo and the SanDisk logoIn an earlier post I reacted to a letter that activist shareholder Elliott sent to Western Digital’s board asking for the company to be split into two parts, one for HDDs and the other for flash.  I wrote it before learning that the Elliott letter was posted on the web for public viewing.

I found Elliott’s proposal hard to rationalize.

Although the reasoning I shared in that post is Continue reading “Another Perspective on a WDC Split”