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Western Digital Announces Pricing Of Secondary Offering By Hitachi, Ltd.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) announced today the pricing of the previously announced underwritten secondary public offering of 10,869,566 shares of its common stock by Hitachi, Ltd. (the "Selling Stockholder"), at a price to the public of $67.00 per share. The Selling Stockholder has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,630,434 shares.

An aggregate amount of 25 million shares of the company's common stock were issued to the Selling Stockholder in connection with Western Digital's acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd., formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Holdings Pte. Ltd., in March 2012. Upon completion of the offering, the Selling Stockholder will beneficially own 14,130,434 shares of the company's common stock (12,500,000 shares if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares) and will continue to have two designated directors on the company's board of directors pursuant to the terms of an investor rights agreement between the company and the Selling Stockholder.

HGST Launches the Highest Capacity Hard Drive for the Mainstream Mobile Market

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company,) continues to push technology innovation by offering the highest storage density (MB/mm³) of any hard disk drive (HDD) today. The new Travelstar 5K1500 is the industry's first 9.5 mm, 1.5 TB mobile hard drive and features the industry's highest capacity in a standard 9.5 mm design. Built on HGST's proven platform for quality and reliability, the Travelstar 5K1500 delivers high shock protection, low power and solid performance to meet the growing demands for a variety of market segments, including notebooks, external hard drives, gaming consoles and all-in-one desktop PCs.

The HGST three-platter Travelstar 5K1500 offers 50 percent more capacity than currently shipping 1 TB 2.5-inch 9.5 mm HDDs and 200 percent more capacity than single-disk 500 GB 7 mm or 5 mm 2.5-inch HDDs, making them ideal for capacity-hungry devices. With better PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 performance than currently shipping two-platter HGST 5,400 RPM models, all Travelstar 5K1500 drives ship with a 32 MB cache buffer and 6 Gbps SATA interface.

HGST Reaches 10-Nanometer Patterned-Bit Milestone

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company, NASDAQ: WDC) is leading the disk drive industry to the forefront in nanolithography, long the exclusive purview of semiconductor manufacturers, by creating and replicating minute features that will allow the doubling of hard disk drive (HDD) density in future disk drives.

HGST Labs announced today they have combined two innovative nanotechnologies -- self-assembling molecules and nanoimprinting -- to create large areas of dense patterns of magnetic islands only 10 billionths of a meter (10 nanometers) wide. These features are only about 50 atoms wide and some 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Western Digital Appoints Mark Long Executive VP Of Strategy And Corporate Development

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that Mark Long has been named executive vice president of strategy and corporate development. Long has an extensive background in corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and investment banking. He will oversee Western Digital's strategic planning and be responsible for the company's corporate development activities. Long will also lead Western Digital Capital, a strategic investment fund targeting innovative companies within the broader storage industry and related markets aligned to Western Digital's strategic plan.

"Mark is an excellent addition to the Western Digital senior leadership team," said Steve Milligan , president and chief executive officer, Western Digital. "He brings tremendous strategic and operational ability to this role, including an extensive background in mergers and acquisitions. He will focus on executing our growth strategy and capitalizing on the many opportunities present in today's dynamic storage industry."

HGST Launches the Industry's Highest Capacity 10K RPM Hard Drive

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company, NASDAQ: WDC) today announced the industry's highest-capacity 10,000 RPM, enterprise-class hard drive – the Ultrastar C10K1200. Providing a capacity extension to HGST's proven Ultrastar C10K900 product line, the new 2.5-inch Ultrastar C10K1200 features a SAS 6Gb/s interface for reliable data throughput, a 64MB cache buffer for optimized read/write response time, and a fast 10K rotational speed for reliable high-performance computing. All this, combined with the drive's low power, high capacity and high performance attributes, results in higher density servers, blades and network storage arrays that helps reduce space requirements, lowers cooling costs and improves total cost of ownership (TCO).

Increasing storage needs, shrinking floor space and budgets, and reducing power and cooling are just a few challenges that datacenter managers face today, making it challenging to scale and sustain business growth. Whether building datacenters for public clouds, private clouds or traditional datacenters, adopting the right tiered storage strategy delivers greater efficiencies in terms of reliability, performance, capacity and power, and can make a vast difference in the ability to lower TCO.

HGST Gives Consumers The Industry's First 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 2.5-inch Mobile Hard Drive

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company) today announced that it's shipping the industry's first 1 TB, 9.5 mm, 2.5-inch, 7,200 RPM hard disk drive (HDD). The new Travelstar HDD is available in the HGST Hard Drive Retail Kit as well as in the award-winning Touro Mobile Pro USB 3.0 external storage solution for simple add-on storage and backup.

HGST Hard Drive Retail Kit
The new Travelstar 1 TB, 2.5-inch 7,200 RPM hard drive is ideally suited for upgrading notebooks, game consoles, and other high-capacity, high-performance personal storage products. This standard 9.5 mm drive leverages Advanced Format, which increases the physical sector size from 512 bytes to 4,096 (4K) bytes to improve drive capacities and error correction capabilities. With 7,200 RPM performance, 32 MB cache buffer and a 6 Gb/SATA interface, the drive delivers the highest 7,200 RPM mobile HDD performance in PCMark Vantage benchmark testing, which results in faster downloads and better application performance than 7,200 and 5,400 RPM 2.5-inch HDDs.

Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Maintain Steady Growth in Third Quarter: IDC

Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues posted year-over-year growth of 3.3%, totaling just over $5.9 billion, in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker. For the quarter, the total disk storage systems market posted just under $7.9 billion in revenues, representing 3.7% growth from the prior year's third quarter. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reach 7,104 petabytes, growing 24.4% year over year.

"The external disk storage system market continues to exhibit steady growth, posting solid third quarter factory revenues of just over $5.9 billion," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems. "End users continue to invest in storage infrastructures despite persistent concerns surrounding global and regional economies. Helping to drive the worldwide market in the third quarter was the double-digit growth in multi-protocol storage architecture and strong demand for upper mid-range and high-end storage."

EUROCOM adds 1 Terabyte 6Gb/s, SATA III HDD to its 11.6" Ivy Bridge Monster Notebook

The 1 TB, 2.5 inch HDD is the world's first SATA III (6 Gb/s) hard disk drive , and Eurocom is the first to offer it in such a small form factor netbook. Adding the advanced storage technology of the Hitachi Travel Start 5K1000 to the EUROCOM Monster allows Eurocom to meet user’s demand for super large storage capacity and high performance .

“The EUROCOM Monster is like we stuffed a High Performance Notebook into a Netbook form factor, it always had the performance and now it can be customized with a massive amount of high capacity 1 TB, high speed 6 Gb/s SATA storage, in other words, the Monster lives inside of this beast!” Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.

Steve Milligan Will Become CEO of WD On Retirement Of John Coyne in January 2013

Western Digital Corp. today announced that Steve Milligan will become chief executive officer of the company on January 2, 2013, succeeding John Coyne, who is retiring on that same date. Milligan, 49, is currently president of Western Digital and will retain the title of president when he becomes CEO. Following Coyne's retirement, Milligan will be appointed to the Western Digital board of directors.

"We are grateful to John Coyne for his many years of dedication and strong leadership," said Tom Pardun, chairman of the board. "He and his team have strategically positioned the company at the center of the storage industry, as a consistently profitable market and technology leader well positioned to address the tremendous opportunities in the changing digital world.

Seagate Appoints Gary Gentry to Lead Solid State Drive Business

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today announced that Gary Gentry has rejoined Seagate to lead its solid state drive (SSD) business as senior vice president, SSD. Mr. Gentry will have responsibility for driving Seagate leadership in the SSD space, with time-to-market, competitive product offerings. He will be located in Longmont, Colorado and will report directly to Rocky Pimentel, chief sales and marketing officer.

Mr. Gentry has over 25 years of experience in the storage industry, including most recently as the general manager of the Enterprise SSD Division of Micron Corporation. Prior to rejoining Seagate, he held leadership positions focusing on solid-state technologies at Spansion Corporation and Storage Genetics. He also served as chief marketing officer for Maxtor, and provided strategic consulting to Hitachi Global Storage Systems. While at Seagate he held various management positions including vice president, strategic marketing and planning.

WD Appoints Kensuke Oka And Masahiro Yamamura To Its Board Of Directors

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has appointed Kensuke Oka and Masahiro Yamamura to its board of directors, effective May 17, 2012. Mr. Oka is president and CEO of Hitachi America, Ltd., and Mr. Yamamura is corporate officer, general manager of the Semiconductor Business Division of Hitachi, Ltd.

"The additions of Mr. Oka and Mr. Yamamura offer our leadership team vital insight as we operate WD and HGST as independent subsidiaries in the competitive hard drive industry," said Thomas Pardun, WD chairman of the board. "Both have deep executive management experience leading operations in the electronics and industrial systems industries, primarily for Hitachi, providing new perspectives to WD as we continue our focus on sustained profitable growth."

HGST Ships a New Family of 2.5-Inch CinemaStar Hard Drives

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company, NYSE: WDC) today announced a new family of CinemaStar 2.5-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) for the growing traditional and small form factor audio/video (A/V) and consumer electronics (CE) HDD markets. With continued technological advancements and increased capacities, 2.5-inch hard drives are satisfying the needs of both the traditional 3.5-inch CE market as well as the small form factor market, while allowing OEMs to design smaller, more compact A/V streaming devices.

From slim 7mm z-height 500GB HDDs to high-capacity, 2.5-inch, 9.5mm 1TB HDDs, HGST’s new CinemaStar family targets the vast majority of CE capacity needs, while providing the right balance of performance, low power and quiet acoustics for multi-stream digital video recorders (DVRs) and set-top-boxes (STBs). Now in its sixth generation, each CinemaStar drive is fine-tuned with advanced streaming technology to efficiently optimize the 24/7 recording and playback of A/V content.

WD Completes Divestiture Of Assets To Toshiba Corporation

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has completed its divestiture of certain 3.5-inch hard drive assets to Toshiba Corporation, as required by regulatory agencies that conditionally approved the company's completed acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd. (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies).

The assets will enable Toshiba to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer electronics markets and will enhance its ability to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for near-line (business critical) applications.

HGST Demonstrates Industry's First 12 Gb/s SAS SSD

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company) today announced the storage industry's first technology demonstration of a 12 gigabit per second (12 Gb/s) SAS solid state drive (SSD), representing the next performance step in the evolution of SAS, the preferred interface technology for enterprise servers and storage solutions. HGST is participating in the 12 Gb/s SAS demonstration at the SCSI Trade Association Technology Showcase on May 9, 2012, at the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif.

SAS SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs), with their rich SCSI heritage, continue to be the building blocks of choice for enterprise and cloud storage. Enabling next-generation storage solutions, 12 Gb/s SAS is a broadly supported industry standard as it delivers twice the throughput compared to today's 6 Gb/s SAS solutions, while maintaining established enterprise protocols and attributes. It is also backward compatible with 6 Gb/s SAS for investment protection in current SAS infrastructures.

New Hitachi Compute Blade Server Delivers High Performance and Scalability

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., today announced that it has expanded its portfolio of Hitachi Compute Systems with the addition of the new Hitachi Compute Blade 500. The new blade server is the first Hitachi Data Systems product to incorporate the latest Intel Xeon processor E5-2600. The open, flexible architecture and high-performance, high-availability features of Hitachi Compute Blade 500 make it an ideal platform for virtualized infrastructures and demanding cloud applications.

HGST Ships the World's First 4 TB Enterprise Hard Drive

HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company) today introduced the world's first 4 TB enterprise-class hard drive family, the Ultrastar 7K4000.

Ushering in a new generation of 512e Advanced Format drives, the Ultrastar 7K4000 family provides space-efficient, high-performance, low-power storage for traditional enterprises as well as for the explosive big data and cloud/Internet markets where storage density, watt-per-gigabyte and cost-per-GB are critical parameters. Hungry for massive storage, cloud and Internet businesses are redefining the datacenter by designing new types of servers and storage architectures to help manage explosive petabyte (PB) growth. Critical to their datacenter infrastructure is the ability to scale and efficiently manage performance, power and storage space to help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

Intel, Microsoft Among World's Most Ethical Companies: Ethisphere

Ethisphere released its latest list of World's Most Ethical (WME) companies. The list honors companies for ethical practices. In its own words, Ethisphere defines WME companies as "companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business "ethically" and translate those words into action. WME honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today."

Sorted by industry, you will find two short sections covering computer hardware and computer software. Under the hardware section, Intel Corporation is the only other honoree than Hitachi Data Systems. Microsoft and Adobe are honorees as some of the most ethical computer software companies. Find the complete list (sorted by industry) here.

Panel-Maker AUOptronics Convicted of Price-Fixing, Could Face Up To $1B in Fines

One of the biggest suppliers of LCD panels to notebook and PC monitor manufacturers, AUOptronics, has been convicted by a US court on Tuesday, of price-fixing, a serious anti-competitive practice that cripples innovation and is bad for consumers and progress of the industry. The company faces fines as high as US $1 billion, which could amount to a big blow to the company that already finds itself facing losses.

AUOptronics' conviction follows the December 2011 mega-settlement of LCD makers including Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, HannStar, and Chimei Innolux. At the time, AUOptronics and LG Electronics were the only fence-sitters. LG Electronics agreed to pay a US $400 million fine, in 2008. AUOptronics' current position is that it finds the evidence presented against it, which led to the conviction as being "distorted and incomplete," and that it will appeal against the verdict. The quantum of fine levied against AUOptronics will surface in the months ahead.Sources: Reuters, The Verge

Western Digital Completes Acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd. (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), effective Mar. 8, 2012, for $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of WDC common stock valued at approximately $0.9 billion. Hitachi, Ltd. now owns approximately 10 percent of WDC shares outstanding, and it has the right to designate two individuals to the board of directors of WD.

The new WD will operate with WD Technologies (WD) and HGST as wholly owned subsidiaries. Aggregated revenues of the two companies in 2011 were $15 billion. As chief executive officer of WD, John Coyne heads up the new office of the CEO, with Steve Milligan as president, Tim Leyden as chief operating officer and Wolfgang Nickl as chief financial officer.

WD's Purchase of Hitachi HDD Business Approved by EU Regulators

Western Digital (WD), secured an approval (conditional), from the European Union regulator in-charge of competition that enables it to go ahead and purchase Hitachi's hard disk drive business. WD is purchasing Hitachi's HDD assets for US $4.3 billion. "The proposed divestiture will ensure that competition in the industry is fully restored before the merger is implemented," EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement. What makes the EU approval conditional is the fact that WD had to first agree to sell several of its production operations, which it did, to Toshiba, early this month.

Source: Reuters

Hitachi Data Systems to Introduce New Server Line-Up Based on Intel Xeon Processor E5

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., today announced that it will expand its family of blade and rack server products for the enterprise market. The forthcoming Hitachi Compute Systems will be based on the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family introduced today by Intel Corporation.

“By leveraging the new Intel Xeon processor E5 family, upcoming Hitachi Compute Systems will feature faster performance, higher density and greater energy efficiency,” said Roberto Basilio, vice president, Infrastructure Platforms Product Management, Hitachi Data Systems. “Hitachi Compute Systems offer innovative designs with unique advantages in scalability, flexible I/O configuration and high availability. They are ideal servers upon which to build converged data center solutions. Seamless management integration with Hitachi Data Systems storage and data networking components give customers an easy operational interface. This saves costs, reduces errors and allows faster, more effective deployment and management of virtual IT environments – all of which create greater efficiencies across the data center.”

EMC Selects Hitachi GST Enterprise-Class Solid State Drives

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST), a leading supplier of enterprise-class solid state and hard disk drives, today announced that EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) has qualified and is now shipping Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400S SLC–based (single level cell), 2.5-inch, SAS solid state drives (SSD) in its “all Flash” VNX Unified Storage systems for mission-critical Microsoft and Oracle environments. The Ultrastar SSD400S family is the world’s first jointly develop SAS and FC enterprise-class SSDs, combining Hitachi GST’s proven enterprise HDD strength with Intel’s extensive capabilities developing high-endurance SLC NAND flash memory and advanced SSD technology. All of this powers Hitachi GST’s leading line SSDs with high endurance, reliability and sustained performance for Tier 0, mission-critical server and storage workloads.

Toshiba Acquires WD HDD Manufacturing Equipment and Transfer of HDD Manufacturing

Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Western Digital Corporation (NYSE: WDC) on Toshiba's acquisition of certain of Western Digital's 3.5-inch HDD manufacturing equipment and related intellectual property, and the transfer to Western Digital of Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (TSDT), Toshiba's wholly-owned HDD manufacturing subsidiary located in Thailand.

Toshiba and Western Digital aim to complete the acquisition and transfer by March of this year after obtaining approval from the relevant authorities. Under the agreement, Toshiba will acquire the following equipment and intellectual property from Western Digital.
  • Manufacturing equipment for 3.5-inch HDDs for use in desktop PCs and other consumer applications, plus related intellectual property; and
  • Manufacturing equipment for near-line HDDs for server applications.

WD Reaches Agreement With Toshiba Corporation to Divest Certain 3.5-inch HDD Assets

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today reported that it has reached an agreement with Toshiba Corporation to divest certain assets to address the requirements of regulatory agencies that have conditionally approved or are continuing to review the company's planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST). The asset package covered by the agreement will enable Toshiba to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer electronics markets and will enhance its ability to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for near-line (business critical) applications. The divestiture transaction is subject to review by regulatory agencies in certain jurisdictions.

WD also reported that it has agreed, subject to completion of the divestiture transaction, to purchase Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand) Company Limited (TSDT). TSDT manufactured hard drives but has not resumed operations after the recent Thailand flooding. The principal assets of TSDT are its Thailand property, facilities and employees. Subject to completion of the transaction, WD plans to integrate these facilities and employees into its Thailand operations. The financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.

3 TB Hitachi 5700 RPM Drives Available for use with Nexsan E-Series Storage Systems

Nexsan, a leading independent provider of disk-based data storage systems, today announced immediate availability of 3 TB Hitachi 5700 RPM drives as an option for all Nexsan E-Series storage systems. Enhanced with Hitachi's CoolSpin technology, Hitachi's 5700 RPM 3 TB drives run cooler and are energy efficient to complement Nexsan's AutoMAID power savings technology. Combined with E-Series storage systems, the new high capacity drives are ideal for digital video storage (DVS), disk-to-disk backup and archival applications.

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