WDC: To Split, or Not to Split?

Photo of log being split with an axeWestern Digital’s Board of Directors was recently sent a letter 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?”

An SSD You Can’t Wear Out

Infinity symbol overlaid on a Nimbus ExaDrive DC SSD photoThere’s something really odd about Nimbus Data’s colossal 100 terabyte ExaDrive DC SSDs, and it’s not their sheer capacity (although that’s pretty remarkable by itself!)  The strange thing is that they can’t be worn out.  It’s physically impossible.

At first glance that may seem wrong-headed.  NAND flash wears out, and that was the cause of a lot of Continue reading “An SSD You Can’t Wear Out”

Using 176-Layer NAND for High-Capacity Data Center SSDs

Chart with a line that goes pretty flat from 1.5 to 2ms latency 0 to 350K IOPSMicron recently briefed The SSD Guy on its new 7450 SSD series, a range of high-capacity data center SSDs offered in an impressive number of capacities and form factors spanning M.2, U.3 and E1.S. The 7450 is a mainstream drive targeted at a wide variety of data center applications, including common, mixed, and random workloads.

The 7450 series is an evolution of Micron’s 7400 series which was first introduced at 96 layers and was based on Continue reading “Using 176-Layer NAND for High-Capacity Data Center SSDs”

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”

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”

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?”

Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?

Intel recently sold its NAND flash business, which was mainly producing SSDs, to SK hynix, a Korean competitor.  Some people have asked the SSD Guy why did Intel do this? The company had highly-regarded products that could command top prices.  Since Intel’s NAND flash fab is in Dalian, China, one person even asked if the divestiture could have been in response to the US-China trade war.

A better question is: “Why did Intel Continue reading “Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?”

How Many Optane SSDs has Intel Sold?

Cartoon of a detective looking through a magnifying glassIf you’re an industry analyst like The SSD Guy you find that useful data can come from unexpected places.  When Intel announced the sale of its NAND flash business to SK hynix this month the company also provided useful information about Optane SSD sales.  You have to know a little bit about Intel’s organizational structure to understand.  Let me explain.

The SSD part of Intel’s Optane business has been Continue reading “How Many Optane SSDs has Intel Sold?”

Micron’s New XPoint SSD Finally Arrives

Micron X100 3D XPoint SSDAt its October Insight Conference Micron Technology finally revealed its 3D XPoint SSD, dubbed the X100.

While the company didn’t disclose too much about the device, it did brag about its speed, claiming that the X100 is the world’s fastest SSD, running three times faster than the fastest NAND flash SSDs and almost three times the speed of other XPoint SSDs.  The product is said to Continue reading “Micron’s New XPoint SSD Finally Arrives”