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EA DICE Names NVIDIA the Battlefield 2042 Official PC Platform Partner

EA DICE on Tuesday named NVIDIA as the official partner for Battlefield 2042 on the PC platform. To gamers, this means that Battlefield 2042 will feature support for NVIDIA DLSS and NVIDIA Reflex. DLSS integration will allow gamers to increase performance with minimal loss to image quality, while NVIDIA Reflex integration will be key to the game's online multiplayer component, as it works to cut down input latency. There is no word on whether Battlefield 2042 will feature RTX real-time raytracing, but given that Battlefield V was the pioneering title for RTX, some form of raytracing for Battlefield 2042 cannot be ruled out.

Among the other companies named as partners by EA DICE are Xbox Series X/S, as the "official console partner." Logitech has been named the official gaming peripherals partner, which means we'll see plenty of Battlefield 2042 co-branded gear from Logitech G. Western Digital, specifically its WD_Black brand, is the storage partner, with co-branded SSDs and external storage devices on the anvil, both for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Western Digital: Disconnect WD My Book Live External HDDs From the Internet Immediately

Western Digital has issued a recommendation for all owners of the company's My Book Live and My Book Live Duo products - immediately disconnect them from the Internet or risk full data loss. The warning has come after reports started surfacing on distraught users of WD's My Book Live having their entire data deleted without any sort of user interaction or intervention. The recommendation will stay until the company can investigate and solve the issue that has led to the deletion of terabytes of data around the world.

Apparently, factory resets were undertaken on the drives without any sort of user interaction. Some users have shared logs on what exactly happened. Western Digital stopped supporting their My Book Live products back in 2015, which means there are now six full years of operation (at the least) without any security updates. WD seems to believe that individual user accounts were compromised, and the company issued a statement regarding the ongoing investigation. If you have one of these products, take heed, and disconnect them from your network.

Western Digital Launches iNAND MC EU551 Storage for 5G Smartphones

Western Digital Corp. today announced its second-generation UFS 3.1 storage solution for 5G smartphones. The new Western Digital iNAND MC EU551 delivers the high-performance storage consumers need to be able to use their phones for emerging applications like ultra-high-resolution cameras, AR/VR, gaming and 8K video.

IDC expects 5G smartphone shipments to account for more than 40% of global volume in 2021 and grow to 69% in 2025. As networks continue to expand available bandwidth and offer lower latency to enable new user experiences, Western Digital's iNAND solutions deliver the high-capacity, high-performance embedded storage needed to power these exciting new applications.

Western Digital Readies WD Black SN850 Firmware Update Restoring AMD X570 Performance

Western Digital is reportedly preparing a firmware update for its WD Black SN850 M.2 NVMe SSD that restores the drive's write performance levels on PCs based on the AMD X570 platform. This problem is localized to X570, specifically to when the drive is installed on an M.2 NVMe slot that is wired to the X570 chipset. Drives that are installed on the slot that's directly wired to the Ryzen processor perform as expected (Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" and Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer").

The drive performs as intended on AMD B550, as well as Intel platforms that support PCIe Gen 4, as the only Gen 4-capable M.2 slots are the ones directly wired to the processor. Western Digital localized the problem to certain X570 motherboards that have their PCIe maximum payload size (MPS) value set at 128 bytes. This dictates the maximum transaction layer packet (TLP) that goes through the PCIe controller, and a low MPS value cripples performance. The firmware update by Western Digital possibly works around this limitation. The company is expected to release the firmware update by 12 July, 2021.

Western Digital May Introduce Penta Layer Cell (PLC) NAND by 2025

Western Digital has apparently delayed the introduction of Penta Layer Cell (PLC) NAND-based flash to 2025. The company had already disclosed development on the technology back in 2019, around the same time that Toshiba announced it (Toshiba which is now Kioxia, and a Western Digital partner in the development of the technology). The information was disclosed at Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2021 Global Technology Conference, where Western Digital's technology and strategy chief Siva Sivaram said that "I expect that transition [from QLC to PLC] will be slower. So maybe in the second half of this decade we are going to see some segments starting to get 5 bits per cell."

PLC is another density-increase step for NAND flash, whereby each NAND cell can have five bits written into it, thus increasing the amount of information available in the same NAND footprint. To achieve these 5 bits, each cell must store one of 32 voltage states, which in turn inform the flash controller of which corresponding data bits are stored herein. Siva Sivaram said that he expect the technology to take some more time to mature than most, due to the need for controller development that can take advantage of the increased density while making up for the shortcoming in this increased bit-per-cell approach (lower endurance and lower performance). PLC won't bring us HDD-tier storage density by itself (it only enables storage of 25% more data per cell); however, when paired with increasing layers of NAND flash, those 25% extra quickly add up.

Seagate & Western Digital Increase HDD Production to Meet Chia Demand

The demand for HDDs has increased significantly due to Chia cryptocurrency mining in recent times causing major shortages and increasing retail prices. Seagate and Western Digital are increasing the production of their high-capacity HDD models by increasing the utilization rate on existing production lines in an attempt to satisfy this demand. The companies have limited options to increase production in the short-term due to bulk contracts for 60% - 70% of total production and neither company plans to construct new factories in the immediate future. The total global storage capacity allocated to Chia mining has recently surpassed 20 Exabytes up from 1 Exabyte in April and doesn't show any signs of stopping. The shortages look set to continue with both companies happy to monitor the situation and take advantage of the increased demand before deciding on future expansion plans in the coming years.

Western Digital, Percona Join Forces to Extend The Zoned Storage Ecosystem

Championing the Zoned Storage initiative, Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced at its Flash Perspective Event that it has teamed with Percona, a leader in open source database software and services, to unlock the performance benefits of Western Digital's Ultrastar DC ZN540 NVMe ZNS SSDs for MySQL Server, one of the most popular open-source transactional databases in the world.

"Many of our customers are using MySQL as a database for their online data services and this new partnership with Percona will allow customers to unlock the full capabilities of our innovative ZNS flash solutions. With our contributions to the Linux and MySQL open-source communities, MySQL users will be able to install the Percona Server for MySQL and get out-of-the-box support for Western Digital Zoned Namespaces SSDs," said Wim De Wispelaere, vice president, Strategic Initiatives at Western Digital. "This demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver innovative data center infrastructure products and to build our partnership ecosystem to make those easy to implement by our customers."

Western Digital Debuts SanDisk Professional Brand

At its Flash Perspective event today, Western Digital unveiled the new SanDisk Professional brand of premium storage solutions for content creators and professionals. From producing the latest blockbuster film to capturing the moment at a destination wedding to managing business-critical content, the powerful SanDisk Professional portfolio is designed to deliver scalable, high-performance, reliable solutions across industries globally.

Professional content is in constant motion. Content that's captured or created needs to be saved, transferred, off-loaded, shared and archived. SanDisk Professional offers a range of purpose-built tools to harmonize every step of that process. "As a professional photographer and filmmaker, my livelihood depends on how I get the job done. There is no room for error. I need the most advanced, reliable and trusted equipment out in the field," said Lucas Gilman, adventure photographer and filmmaker. "For years I've relied on SanDisk and G-Technology solutions because they enable me to focus on the moment with confidence that my creativity won't be interrupted, and without concern about whether or not they can keep up with my technical needs."

Western Digital Also Announces WD_Black D30 Game Drive SSDs for Xbox Series and PS5

Today at its Flash Perspective event, Western Digital Corp. unveiled three new SSDs for its WD_BLACK portfolio of products, providing gamers around the world with fast, high-performance storage solutions to upgrade their PC and next-gen console gaming experience.

"Our WD_BLACK brand delivers a clear and simple promise to gamers - fast and reliable storage that enhances their gameplay," said Rob Soderbery, executive vice president and GM, Flash Business, Western Digital. "With today's new products, the WD_BLACK portfolio has diverse flash-powered solutions so that every gamer - whether they're just starting out or more advanced - can explore the rich worlds of today's most inventive games."

Western Digital Unveils UFS 3.1 Compatible Embedded Flash Solutions

At its Flash Perspective Event today, Western Digital Corp. announced its new embedded flash platform for Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1 to enable new applications in mobile, automotive, IoT, AR/VR, drones and other emerging segments that are reshaping the way we live, work and play.

In an increasingly mobile world of always on, always connected and always available, Western Digital's unique UFS 3.1 platform, based on the JEDEC-compliant UFS 3.1 specification, provides the speed, reliability and feature versatility that customers count on to build small, thin and lightweight solutions. Leveraging its vertical integration capability to optimize NAND, firmware, controller design, software and drivers, Western Digital can efficiently design purpose-built solutions for a variety of markets including mobile, IoT, automotive, and more - all leveraging a common UFS 3.1 architecture. Setting a new benchmark, this new platform is expected to deliver up to 90% improvement in sequential write performance, compared to its previous generation. This improvement will help realize 5G and Wi-Fi 6 download speed potential, delivering a better experience when consuming rich media files such as 8K video, as well as improved performance for applications such as burst mode photography.

Western Digital Unveils WD Black 750 SE NVMe SSD: Budget PCIe 4.0

Western Digital today introduced another addition to their PCIe 4.0 lineup - which previously consisted only on the WD Black 850, their enthusiast-level offering. Now, the Black 850 gets some entry-level company with the Black 750 SE, which makes use of a 4-channel DRAMless controller to keep the drive fed at some still respectable 3600 MB/s, Sequential Write, and 2830 MB/s Sequential Read speeds (WD isn't quoting the random read/write speeds just yet).

The new WD_Black SN750 SE will start at $49.99 for the 250 GB model. Pricing on the 500 GB and 1 TB capacities hasn't been announced at time of writing, nor is there a mention of a 2 TB model being a part of the current lineup plans. The WD_Black SN750 SE is available for preorder from WD now, and will land on store shelves this summer.

Global NAND Flash Revenue for 1Q21 Rises by 5.1% QoQ Thanks to Better-Than-Expected Demand for Notebooks and Smartphones, Says TrendForce

Total NAND Flash revenue for 1Q21 increased by 5.1% QoQ to US$14.82 billion, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, bit shipments rose by 11% QoQ, while the overall ASP dropped by 5% QoQ; hence, bit shipment growth offset the decline in the overall ASP. Although NAND Flash demand from notebook computer and smartphone manufacturers remained high, clients from the data center segment exhibited relatively weak demand, since this segment had yet to leave the state of NAND Flash oversupply. Contract prices for this quarter therefore still mostly showed a considerable QoQ drop. On the other hand, OEMs/ODMs of end products began to increase procurement of NAND Flash products from the second half of January onward because they noticed that the shortage of NAND Flash controller ICs was affecting the production of medium- and low-density storage products. Besides avoiding a possible supply crunch in the future, OEMs/ODMs were placing additional orders because they were preparing for a push to expand market share. On account of these developments, the overall NAND Flash demand surpassed expectations in 1Q21.

Western Digital Expands WD Purple and WD Purple Pro Lines of Surveillance Storage Solutions

Empowering the world's essential data infrastructure, Western Digital Corp. today announced the expansion of the WD Purple family with the WD Purple Pro product line for a new generation of advanced AI-enabled recorders and backend servers.

The worldwide video surveillance camera market is estimated to grow to $44 billion by 2025, up from $23.6 billion in 2019, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Emerging smart video architectures that capture, store and analyze massive amounts of video data, and perform heavy deep-learning video analytics, are putting an unprecedented level of stress on storage subsystems. The new WD Purple Pro line is designed to handle these workloads with optimized storage performance, capacity, workload capability and reliability for a myriad of devices, including AI-enabled network video recorders (NVRs), video analytics appliances, video analytics servers, storage arrays, and storage/server solutions, including those that perform deep-learning analytics.

Western Digital Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) today reported fiscal third quarter 2021 financial results. "We reported solid results above the guidance range, driven by increasing momentum of our energy-assisted drives and our second-generation NVMe enterprise SSDs, improving NAND flash pricing trends, along with the continued accelerated digital transformation across end markets," said David Goeckeler, Western Digital CEO.

"Western Digital's strengths in technology and cost leadership, expansive product portfolio and broad routes to market are providing a foundation upon which we are solidifying our position as an essential building block of the digital economy. These strengths, combined with our increased operational and strategic focus enabled by our new business unit structure, are driving results. As we continue to face a dynamic environment, we are seeing the benefits of the synergistic value in the breadth of Western Digital's portfolio, and our unique ability to deliver both hard drive and flash solutions to our diverse end-markets and customer base."

SanDisk Outs its First 2-in-1 Flash Drive for Transfers Between iPhone and USB-C Devices

Built for consumers who are searching for a stylish and reliable solution to share content across their compatible devices, including iPhone devices and Mac computers, Western Digital announced today the company's first flash drive with dual Lightning and USB Type-C connectors, the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe. With both Lightning and USB Type-C connectors and an all-metal casing, the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe provides a sleek way for users to seamlessly access and move files between iPhone, iPad Pro, Mac and other USB Type-C devices, including Android phones.

Western Digital resolves the hassle of moving files between devices with different connectors with the new SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe. This new flash drive comes with two connectors, which enables a quick move of files, eliminating the need to email content from one device to another in order to upload or save.1 Once files are on the drive, they can be transferred using the high-speed USB 3.0 connector to a USB Type-C-compatible computer. Consumers who want a heightened sense of privacy can password-protect their files and photos with the iXpand Drive app. The app can also be used to free up space on an iPhone or to automatically back up photos, videos, documents and contacts without the hassle of a slow internet connection.2 The drive is available in 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB, allowing more space for photos, videos and games.

Kioxia and Western Digital Announce 6th-Generation 162-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Kioxia Corporation and Western Digital Corp., today announced that the companies have developed their sixth-generation, 162-layer 3D flash memory technology. Marking the next milestone in the companies' 20-year joint-venture partnership, this is the companies' highest density and most advanced 3D flash memory technology to date, utilizing a wide range of technology and manufacturing innovations.

"Through our strong partnership that has spanned two decades, Kioxia and Western Digital have successfully created unrivaled capabilities in manufacturing and R&D," said Masaki Momodomi, Chief Technology Officer, Kioxia. "Together, we produce over 30 percent of the world's flash memory bits and are steadfast in our mission to provide exceptional capacity, performance and reliability at a compelling cost. We each deliver this value proposition across a range of data-centric applications from personal electronics to data centers as well as emerging applications enabled by 5G networks, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems."

Western Digital Unveils Entry-level WD Green SN350 M.2 NVMe SSDs

Western Digital announced the new WD Green SN350 series of entry-level M.2 NVMe SSDs. These drives are positioned a notch below the WD Blue SN550 (mid-range), while the WD Black SN850 remains the company's current flagship client SSD product. The WD Green SN350 comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. The company didn't detail the underlying architecture, but the drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and likely features a 4-channel controller architecture. It also appears to feature DRAM cache.

All three capacity variants of the WD Green SN350 offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s. The 240 GB variant offers sequential writes of up to 900 MB/s, the 480 GB variant up to 1,650 MB/s, and the 960 GB variant up to 1,900 MB/s. The company didn't detail the NAND flash type, or endurance numbers. It's backing these drives with 3-year warranties. The 240 GB variant is priced at USD $43.99, the 480 GB variant $54.99, and the 960 GB variant $99.99.

Western Digital Releases SanDisk Apex Legends Memory Card for Nintendo Switch

Western Digital has teamed up with Respawn Entertainment to create an Apex Legends -themed memory card for the Nintendo Switch, offering gamers and contenders across the Outlands expanded storage solutions just in time for the universally acclaimed battle royale game to drop into the Nintendo eShop next month.

Featuring the distinctive Apex Legends insignia, players can squad up and battle for glory with the microSDXC card which offers up to 128 GB of expanded storage. Whether it's existing fans who want to ready themselves to jump into the action, or new players looking to compete in the Apex Games for the first time, this microSDXC card ensures any gamer is equipped with the additional space they need to take on more adventures or challenges on their Nintendo Switch system.

Western Digital Reports Fiscal Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) today reported fiscal second quarter 2021 financial results. "The team delivered solid results this quarter, especially as we continue adapting our business and technology portfolio to take advantage of the immense opportunities in the storage industry," said, David Goeckeler, Western Digital CEO. "During the quarter, we captured strength in the retail business and also delivered on our target outcome to complete qualification of our energy-assisted hard drives and second-generation enterprise SSD products with some of the world's largest data center operators. While there is still more work to be done, we remain extremely focused on meeting the needs of our customers and ramping our next-generation products throughout calendar 2021."

In the fiscal second quarter of 2021, Western Digital's revenue decreased 7% year-over-year to $3.9 billion. The decrease is largely attributable to a decline in our Data Center Devices & Solutions end market, more than offsetting growth in Client Devices and Client Solutions.

Western Digital Delivers Unmatched Line Up of New High-Capacity Portable SSDs

Western Digital Corp. today announced it's now delivering 4 TB portable SSDs across its consumer brand portfolio. Giving consumers and professionals more space to create, the new drives are built to keep up with today's high-quality content demands. The four drives now offer gamers, content creators, enthusiasts and creative professionals the performance, durability and greater capacity they need to capture, move and save their files.

"This milestone allows us to deliver a new era of solutions with the capacity and performance our customers have been asking for. Our consumer brand products are used by millions of professionals and consumers around the world, and we continue to drive technology forward to deliver the performance, reliability and leading products they demand," said Jim Welsh, senior vice president and general manager of Consumer Solutions Products, Western Digital.

NAND Flash Revenue for 3Q20 up by Only 0.3% QoQ Owing to Weak Server Sales, Says TrendForce

Total NAND Flash revenue reached US$14.5 billion in 3Q20, a 0.3% increase QoQ, while total NAND Flash bit shipment rose by 9% QoQ, but the ASP fell by 9% QoQ, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The market situation in 3Q20 can be attributed to the rising demand from the consumer electronics end as well as the recovering smartphone demand before the year-end peak sales season. Notably, in the PC market, the rise of distance education contributed to the growing number and scale of Chromebook tenders, but the increase in the demand for Chromebook devices has not led to a significant increase in NAND Flash consumption because storage capacity is rather limited for this kind of notebook computer. Moreover, clients in the server and data center segments had aggressively stocked up on components and server barebones during 2Q20 due to worries about the impact of the pandemic on the supply chain. Hence, their inventories reached a fairly high level by 3Q20. Clients are now under pressure to control and reduce their inventories during this second half of the year. With them scaling back procurement, the overall NAND Flash demand has also weakened, leading to a downward turn in the contract prices of most NAND Flash products.

SanDisk Japan Branding Integrated with Western Digital

SanDisk Corporation, a Japanese corporation of Western Digital Corporation, changed its organization from the current corporation to a limited liability company on January 1, 2021. SanDisk has decided to change its name to Western Digital. This will change the new trade name to Western Digital GK. New trade name: Western Digital Limited Liability Company, English name: Western Digital GK, Scheduled change date: January 1, 2021.

Western Digital offers NAND flash memory products and HDDs (hard disk drives) at the top level of multiple brand products such as WD and SanDisk brands, from consumers to enterprises and large-scale data centers. We provide total storage solutions developed and mass-produced at. Among them, SanDisk Co., Ltd. has been in charge of the flash memory business, but with this change of trade name, it has become clearer that it is a Western Digital Group, making quicker decisions than ever before, and domestic customers and We aim to create a corporate structure that can further contribute to our business partners.

Update 10:27 UTC: Western Digital reached out to us and clarified that this organizational change only pertains to the Japanese entity of Western Digital changing its name from SanDisk Corporation to Western Digital GK. SanDisk Corporation (the Japanese entity) is 100% a subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation. Globally, there have been no changes announced for the SanDisk brand, and existing SanDisk products will continue to carry the brand.

Western Digital Launches Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Branded Gaming Storage

Western Digital is working with Call of Duty to reimagine three high-performance products from the WD_BLACK portfolio, bringing gamers three special edition storage drives that encapsulate the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War look and feel with the added bonus of in-game Call of Duty points.1 These three products include the WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive, WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD and the recently announced WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD featuring PCIe Gen 4 technology.

"We are excited that this collaboration with Call of Duty gives us the opportunity to bring these limited edition specially designed drives to their passionate fans," said Jim Welsh, Senior Vice President of Consumer Solutions at Western Digital. "We know gamers are exceptionally serious when it comes to their gameplay, so we created optimized storage solutions that enable them to keep up with the immersive Call of Duty experience."

Western Digital Announces DC ZN540 NVMe SSD, 2TB Variant of WD Blue SN550

Building on a unique and diverse product portfolio across HDD and flash, Western Digital today announced a suite of new NVMe SSDs for enabling next-generation, data-centric architectures for data centers, industrial IoT, automotive and client applications. The new family includes the Ultrastar DC ZN540 ZNS NVMe SSD for designing a more efficient data center storage tier with competitive TCO; the Western Digital IX SN530 Industrial SSD for the extreme environments of industrial and automotive applications; and the 2 TB WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD for speeding up PC performance. Leveraging Western Digital's unique vertical integration capabilities - from designing and manufacturing its NAND flash to developing its own in-house SSD controllers and firmware - the new products underscore the company's continued strength and commitment in driving storage innovation for new system architectures, applications and use cases for global customers across cloud, OEM, enterprise, channel and retail end-user markets.

The amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years, according to IDC. Billions of connected systems will generate a myriad of contextualized data sets from smart video to consumer and sensor data, which must be captured, transformed and analyzed to bring value to industries, businesses and people. Legacy architectures cannot keep up with today's data-intensive environments. The challenge is how to efficiently and cost-effectively build the data infrastructure that will keep up with data demands of the zettabyte-scale era. Storage is critical and fundamental to creating these new architectures and extracting value from data.

Seagate: 20 TB HAMR Drives Arrive in December, 50 TB Capacities in 2026

In its latest earnings call, Seagate, a manufacturer of high-capacity drives, has revealed several interesting points about its upcoming releases of next-generation hard drives. More specifically, the company has disclosed a shift to a new generation of HDDs based on so-called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. This technology is set to bring many improvements compared to the one currently used by Seagate's rivals like Western Digital. The rivaling company uses energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording (ePMR) and microwave-assisted (MAMR) technologies and it already has a 20 TB drive in the offering. Seagate announced that they will unveil a 20 TB HDD in December this year, with the use of HAMR technology, which will bring many improvements like better speed and more efficient disk read/write.

"We remain on track to ship 20-TB HAMR drives starting in December, which is an important milestone, as we believe HAMR technology will be the industry's path to scaling a real density and increasing drive capacities," said Dave Mosley, CEO of Seagate. "Seagate will be the first to ship this crucial technology with a path to deliver 50-TB HAMR drives forecast in 2026."
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