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Western Digital Makes Strategic Investment in Skyera

Skyera Inc. and Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that Skyera has received strategic funding from Western Digital Capital as part of its recently announced Series B round of financing. Western Digital Capital co-invested in the $51 million round as an extension of the strategic relationship between the two companies that also includes joint technology development. Western Digital had previously funded Skyera as its initial outside investor.

"The backing of Western Digital has enabled us to ramp our business across marketing, sales and engineering which has been instrumental in creating the industry's most innovative solid-state solution," said Radoslav Danilak , chief executive officer of Skyera. "With our skyHawk family of enterprise solid-state storage systems we are witnessing the next era of solid-state storage and I strongly believe that having a close working relationship with Western Digital, the world's top disk drive vendor, is invaluable as we set out to reshape the storage landscape."

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."

Apacer Launches Value-Added PATA SSDs

Nowadays, new products in the SSD market have mostly been upgraded to the more efficient and high-speed SATA interface solid-state drive. However, the majority of industrial computers (IPC) are still using the PATA interface (or IDE interface), which are now facing certain problems -- malfunctioning and bad tracks are beginning to emerge in the older technology and facilities.

To solve the problem, one of the most viable upgrade options at this stage in terms of data security and cost effectiveness would be the PATA interface solid-state drive with built-in security functions. In response to customer needs, Apacer launched this value-added PATA SSDs with Data Security benefit. These products come in two specifications - 2.5-inch, 44 pin AFD 257 and 1.8-inch 40 pin AFD 187. Both models come with three built-in data security functions - Full Erase, Destroy, and Write Protect to provide advanced and upgraded data security advantages.

Western Digital Announces WD MyBook AV-TV External Hard Drive

WD, a Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) company, and a world leader in storage solutions for the connected life, today introduced My Book AV-TV, allowing customers to instantly enable their TV recording features to store and playback hundreds of hours of entertainment by simply connecting the My Book AV-TV drive directly to a compatible TV. Additionally, customers watching live TV with the My Book AV-TV connected can press pause and rewind, or fast-forward afterward, to control and enjoy live TV at their convenience.

My Book AV-TV, available in 1 terabyte (TB) and 2 TB capacities, easily connects directly to televisions with built-in recording capability to provide plentiful storage capacity for standard or high-definition entertainment programming. Built with WD GreenPower Technology, the drive inside is engineered for the audio/video market in order to optimize the customer experience with smooth video playback of recorded content. Additionally, the WD GreenPower Technology is engineered to use less power and stay cool even in a hot entertainment center full of electronics.

Marvell Ordered to Pay $1.17 Billion in Damages to University for Patent Infringment

Storage and application processor maker Marvell Technology has been ordered by a Federal Jury in the US state of Pennsylvania to pay a local university $1.17 billion in damages for patent-infringement. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed and patented a technology that "increases the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks," which Marvell has been found to be infringing. Why $1.17 billion? Because these chips are an indispensable component in modern mechanical hard disk drives, made by both Seagate and WD, among others.

If and when US District Court Judge Nora Barry Fischer agrees with the Jury ruling that Marvell's infringements of CMU's patents are "willful," the fine could triple, according to K&L Gates. The jury found that Marvell sold "billions" of chips carrying the University's technology. What makes this verdict important for the PC industry is that since Marvell's HDD components are widely incorporated in HDDs across various brands, should CMU seek a sales-ban, it could potentially affect HDD production the way last year's unfortunate floods in Thailand did.

Sources: CNN, arstechnica, Image Credit: The Register

QNAP Expands its Turbo NAS Compatibility List with New HDDs

QNAP Systems, Inc. announced today a major expansion of the number of compatible peripherals available for its Turbo NAS products. The major additions include ten 3.5-inch internal SATA hard drives and a Kingston 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive.
The newly compatible 3.5" internal SATA hard drives:
  • Seagate - ST2000DM001 (2TB), ST2000NC000 (2TB), ST1000NC000 (1TB), ST3000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (3TB), ST2000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (2TB), ST1000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (1TB), ST500DM002 (500GB)
  • Western Digital - WD4000FYYZ (4TB), WD3000FYYZ (3TB), WD2000FYYZ (2TB)
  • The newly compatible 2.5" internal SATA hard drive:
  • Kingston - SSDNow E100 (100GB)

G-Technology G-SPEED Storage Solutions Now Ship With 4TB Enterprise-Class Hard Drives

With a continued focus on delivering the industry's most trusted, high-performance and reliable solutions for content creators, G-Technology today announced that its G-SPEEDĀ¹ RAID external storage solutions now come equipped with the industry's highest capacity and most reliable enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs), the 4TB HGST Ultrastar drives. With 7,200 RPM performance, 64MB cache, the highest 2.0 million hour mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) HDD specification, and unique enterprise-class features, the G-Technology G-SPEED family continues to deliver uncompromised performance, quality and reliability for the escalating demands of today's post-production workflows.

Western Digital Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend, Payable on December 26

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that the Board of Directors declared a cash dividend for the quarter ending December 28, 2012, of $0.25 per share of common stock (the "cash dividend"). The cash dividend will be paid on December 26, 2012, to the company's stockholders of record as of December 14, 2012. On September 13, 2012, the company indicated that beginning in its current fiscal year 2013 it is targeting a return to shareholders of approximately 50 percent of its free cash flow through a mix of cash dividends and share repurchases.

The amount of future dividends under the company's dividend policy, and the declaration and payment thereof, will be based upon all relevant factors, including the company's financial position, results of operations, cash flows, capital requirements and restrictions under the company's existing credit agreement, and will be in compliance with applicable law. The Board retains the power to modify, suspend or cancel the company's dividend policy in any manner and at any time as it may deem necessary or appropriate in the future.

Western Digital WD Green and WD Red Series Get 5 TB Models in Late 2013

It will be towards the end of 2013, when Western Digital will have 5 terabyte (or 5000 GB) models of its NAS-optimized WD Red, and energy-efficient consumer-optimized WD Green lines of consumer hard drives. According to launch plans unearthed by Russian website AlwaysMoreDigital, the 5 TB WD Red (model: WD50ERFX) and 5 TB WD Green (WD50EZRX) will be launched in Q4 (in or after October 2013). A little earlier than that, the two lines will be updated with 4 TB variants, the WD40ERFX and WD40EZRX. All four drives feature 64 MB of cache, SATA 6 Gb/s interface, and are built in the 3.5-inch form-factor.

Sources: AlwaysMoreDigital, Hardware.info

WD Makes It Easy To Discover, Enjoy And Protect Digital Content On Windows 8

WD, a Western Digital company, and a world leader in external storage and solutions for today's connected life, announced today comprehensive support for new storage features in Windows 8 and an app for the new Windows user interface that makes it easy to discover, enjoy and backup digital media and files.

The WD app for Windows 8 automatically discovers digital content on connected WD direct attached storage solutions and showcases those photos, videos and music on a live tile on the Start screen. Within the app, customers can easily find and enjoy their digital content as well as share their media via email and social media sites with the Share charm. Windows 8 automatically installs the WD app for certified WD products or it can be downloaded from the Windows Store.

Western Digital Expands Its Highest-Performing Desktop Hard Drives To 4 TB Capacity

WD, a Western Digital company and a world leader in hard drives, today announced its highest performance, highest capacity desktop hard drive, the WD Black 4 TB, 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM drive. Shipping immediately, the fast performance and ultimate capacity of the award-winning WD Black drives make them perfect for gaming, high-performance desktop systems and workstations.

WD Black hard drives combine 7200 RPM spin speed, 64 MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 6 gigabits per second (Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor to deliver ultimate performance in a maximum-capacity drive.

WD Unveils Blazing Fast 802.11ac Wireless Router And Bridge For Maximum Wi-Fi Speeds

WD, a Western Digital company, and a world leader in external storage and solutions for today's connected life, today unveils the new My Net AC1300 HD Dual-Band Router and My Net AC Bridge as the latest additions to the acclaimed My Net family of HD dual-band routers. These products combine next-generation 802.11ac wireless technology with WD's exclusive FasTrack technology for automatically prioritizing high-bandwidth entertainment services like Netflix, YouTube, online games and Skype, to provide maximum streaming performance inside the home.

A leading product testing and analysis organization, The Tolly Group, conducted performance testing of the My Net AC1300 router and My Net Bridge amongst comparable products on the market today. Results show that the My Net AC1300 router is faster than leading competitive products averaged across ranges of 30 to 75 feet, demonstrating the strongest performance in providing stable wireless speeds over long distances, and cutting out buffering and lag times to provide a smooth HD entertainment streaming experience throughout the home.

Western Digital Launches New My Book Studio External Hard Drive

WD, a Western Digital company, and a world leader in external storage and connected life solutions, today announced a new version of the My Book Studio external hard drive. USB 3.0 capability is now extended to this family of My Book Studio hard drives and provides data transfer speeds up to three times faster than USB 2.0. WD has also introduced the addition of a massive 4 TB capacity in a single-drive configuration making it a perfect solution for backing up large amounts of digital content. The My Book Studio drive is designed with a premium aluminum enclosure and will be available in 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB capacities.

The My Book Studio drive's features and benefits have made it a favorite among creative professionals and Mac computer enthusiasts, including working seamlessly with Apple Time Machine, for protecting and backing up their valuable professional and personal content. The My Book Studio external hard drive includes WD Security, which allows users to password protect their drive along with 256-bit hardware-based encryption for added security against unauthorized access to the drive and its contents.

WD Portable Hard Drives Certified For Use With Windows To Go

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital, and a world leader in external storage and solutions for today's connected life, today introduced My Passport Enterprise, one of the industry's first portable hard drives designed specifically for use with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows To Go, which enables corporate customers to provision a fully featured Windows 8 workspace on a bootable USB drive.

My Passport Enterprise includes 500 GB of storage space, while still maintaining a sleek and compact design for maximum portability. The capacity and portability allows users to easily carry all their data and settings so they can quickly boot and run their personalized Windows 8 system on any compatible PC in the office, at home or on the go. Additionally, setup is fast and easy with the WD Compass utility included with My Passport Enterprise.

Western Digital Unveils the My Net Wi-Fi Range Extender

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital, and a world leader in external storage and solutions for today's connected life, today unveils its My Net Wi-Fi Range Extender to expand wireless home networks into out-of-reach areas of the home.

Following the introduction of its first line of wireless home networking products, the acclaimed My Net family of HD dual-band routers, the selectable dual-band My Net Wi-Fi Range Extender provides faster, stronger and more reliable wireless network coverage to computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, media players, smart TVs and other Wi-Fi connected devices that suffer from a weak Wi-Fi signal within the home.

Western Digital Launches 4 TB WD RE SAS, WD RE SATA Hard Drives

WD, a Western Digital company, and a leader in the mobile, desktop, high-capacity enterprise and consumer markets for hard drives today announced it is further expanding its enterprise-class storage offerings with the release of new WD RE SAS and WD RE SATA hard drives in capacities up to 4 TB, the largest on the market today.

Available immediately in 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB capacities for nearline SAS and 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB for SATA, the 3.5-inch WD RE SAS and WD RE SATA hard drives offer the powerful combination of enterprise-class features and superior capacity to meet the growing demands of conventional business-critical environments as well as the high-capacity and performance requirements of cloud and scale-out computing.

WD 5 mm Hybrid Hard Drives Set for Mass Production by Late 2012

As hard drives stared at oblivion in the Ultrabook segment, with Intel planning to slim the specification down even further, leaving room for nothing but bare SSDs, WD pulled a rabbit out of its hat with the revolutionary 5 mm-thick hybrid HDD. Following its September 10 announcement, 5 mm-thick hybrid HDDs have reportedly sparked great interest in notebook vendors, which prompted WD to pull its mass-production schedule from Q1 2013 to end of 2012.

Source: DigiTimes, Image Courtesy: Engadget

WD Announces Capital Allocation Plan at Investor Day; Provides Update On Sep. Quarter

Western Digital Corp. today announced at its Investor Day a capital allocation plan that includes the adoption by its Board of Directors of a cash dividend policy and an increased authorization of $1.5 billion under its share repurchase program. At its webcast Investor Day, the company indicated that beginning in its current fiscal year 2013, it is targeting a return to shareholders of approximately 50 percent of its free cash flow through a mix of cash dividends and share repurchases.

Under the dividend policy, the company intends to pay a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock beginning with the quarter ending Sept. 28, 2012. Directors declared today a dividend of $0.25 per common share, payable on Oct. 15, 2012, to the company's shareholders of record as of Sept. 28, 2012.

WD Creates World's Thinnest 2.5-inch Hybrid Hard Drive

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp. today announced it is sampling a 5 mm-thin hard disk drive featuring hybrid technology. WD has developed hard drives slim enough for integration into today's thinnest notebook PCs, which provide high-capacity storage and robustness while featuring instant-on and application performance similar to today's client solid state drives (SSDs). The new technologies will be showcased during WD's Investor Day, Sept. 13, 2012.

"Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive," said Matt Rutledge, vice president of client storage solutions at WD. "Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5 mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings."

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.

WD Introduces Its Fastest My Book External HDD System Ever

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation, and a world leader in external storage and connected home solutions, is combining two high-speed technologies to produce one of the fastest and most robust dual-storage systems ever offered. Supported by the Mac OS X operating system, the new My Book VelociRaptor Duo dual-drive storage system becomes the ultimate storage drive for performance hungry Mac computer users and creative professionals.

My Book VelociRaptor Duo provides ultimate speed and performance with two 1 TB 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor drives along with two Thunderbolt ports. The 2 TB dual-drive storage system is ideal for editing high resolution video, 3D rendering, graphic design, and other demanding digital media applications. This boost in performance delivers solid state drive (SSD) -like data transfer rates of up to 400 MB/s for greater work-flow productivity. The dual-drive storage system offers RAID 0 for performance or RAID 1 for protection; and the twin Thunderbolt ports offer daisy-chaining multiple My Book VelociRaptor Duo drives and other high performance peripherals without impacting data transfer speeds or performance. The My Book VelociRaptor Duo also comes complete with a Thunderbolt cable in the box and is user-serviceable.

WD Portable Hard Drives For Mac Users Rev Up On USB 3.0 Speed And Larger Capacity

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation, today announced that it has added the USB 3.0 interface to its line of My Passport for Mac portable hard drives and increased capacity for Mac computer users up to an unmatched 2 TB. Popular among students and other Mac users who take their digital content everywhere, the My Passport for Mac with USB 3.0 allows users to quickly and conveniently take advantage of the faster transfer speeds USB 3.0 provides when connecting the drive to their MacBook computer or MacBook Air computer with that interface.

While continuing to provide a sleek and slim design, the My Passport drive also has been a favorite among consumers and professionals who have safety and security at the top of the list of requirements for portable drives, which is why the My Passport for Mac includes password protection and hardware encryption features to protect content from unauthorized use or access. The My Passport for Mac drive is also compatible out of the box with Apple Time Machine for easy backup to further protect valuable files.

2 TB WD Green 2.5-inch Hard Drive Goes on Sale

Western Digital's new high-capacity 2.5-inch hard drive, the WD Green WD20NPVT made an appearance in Japanese ground stores. Strangely enough, while the drive is built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, it is 15 mm-thick, making it unfit for most notebooks. The drive provides a staggering 2 TB of unformatted capacity, and features IntelliPower variable spindle speed (4,500-5,400 RPM?), 8 MB cache, SATA 3 Gb/s interface, 0.2W idle (parked) and 1.7W (active) power consumption. It is priced at 18,800 JPY (US $240).

Source: Akiba PC Watch
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