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Toshiba Memory and Western Digital Celebrate the Opening of Fab 6

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corporation today celebrated the opening of a new state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility, Fab 6, and the Memory R&D Center, at Yokkaichi operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Toshiba Memory started construction of Fab 6, a dedicated 3D flash memory fabrication facility, in February 2017. Toshiba Memory and Western Digital have installed cutting-edge manufacturing equipment for key production processes including deposition and etching. Mass production of 96-layer 3D flash memory utilizing the new fab began earlier this month.

Demand for 3D flash memory is growing for enterprise servers, data centers and smartphones, and is expected to continue to expand in the years ahead. Further investments to expand its production will be made in line with market trends. The Memory R&D Center, located adjacent to Fab 6, began operations in March of this year, and will explore and promote advances in the development of 3D flash memory. Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in the memory business by actively developing initiatives aimed at strengthening competitiveness, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments according to market trends.

Toshiba Breaks Ground on Biggest, Most Advanced BiCS FLASH Fabrication Facility in Kitakami City, Japan

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for the first semiconductor fabrication facility (fab), called K1, in Kitakami, Iwate prefecture, in northeastern Japan. On its completion in autumn 2019, the facility will be one of the most advanced manufacturing operations in the world, dedicated to production of 3D flash memory.

Toshiba Memory continues to advance technologies in flash memory. The company is now leading the way forward with advances in its BiCS FLASH , its proprietary 3D flash memory.

Western Digital Introduces Ultrastar DC SS530 Dual-port SAS SSD

Western Digital Corporation, a data technology leader, today introduced the new Ultrastar DC SS530 SAS SSD, the company's highest-density drive and the fastest dual-port SAS SSD in the market¹, enabling server and storage array manufacturers to offer customers substantially lower data center TCO for Fast Data applications. By doubling maximum capacity of the previous generation to 15.36TB within the same 2.5-inch 15-mm form factor, drive storage density also doubles, giving IT managers the potential to reduce the number of drives deployed, consolidate servers and open up valuable rack space for improved CapEx and OpEx costs.

Developed in partnership with Intel , the Ultrastar DC SS530 is based on a trusted third-generation platform that has been previously qualified at most major OEMs worldwide. It offers consistent performance and reliability to meet the rigorous demands of today's toughest data center workloads. Designed with a 12Gb/s SAS interface, and available in capacities from 400GB to 15.36TB, the Ultrastar DC SS530 delivers up to 440,000 random read and 320,000 random write IOPS - providing rapid access to "hot" enterprise data for higher productivity and operational efficiency.

Western Digital Releases 96-layer 3D QLC NAND with 1.33 Tb Capacity

Western Digital Corp. today announced successful development of its second-generation, four-bits-per-cell architecture for 3D NAND. Implemented for the company's 96-layer BiCS4 device, the QLC technology delivers the industry's highest 3D NAND storage capacity of 1.33 terabits (Tb) in a single chip. BiCS4 was developed at the joint venture flash manufacturing facility in Yokkaichi, Japan with our partner Toshiba Memory Corporation. It is sampling now and volume shipments are expected to commence this calendar year beginning with consumer products marketed under the SanDisk brand. The company expects to deploy BiCS4 in a wide variety of applications from retail to enterprise SSDs.

Toshiba Develops 96-layer BiCS FLASH with QLC Technology

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced that it has developed a prototype sample of 96-layer BiCS FLASH, its proprietary 3D flash memory, with 4-bit-per-cell (quad level cell, QLC) technology that boosts single-chip memory capacity to the highest level yet achieved.Toshiba Memory will start to deliver samples to SSD and SSD controller manufacturers for evaluation from the beginning of September, and expects to start mass production in 2019.

The advantage of QLC technology is pushing the bit count for data per memory cell from three to four and significantly expanding capacity. The new product achieves the industry's maximum capacity of 1.33 terabits for a single chip which was jointly developed with Western Digital Corporation. This also realizes an unparalleled capacity of 2.66 terabytes with a 16-chip stacked architecture in one package. The huge volumes of data generated by mobile terminals and the like continue to increase with the spread of SNS and progress in IoT, and the need to analyze and utilize that data in real time is expected to increase dramatically. That will require even faster than HDD, larger capacity storage and QLC products using the 96-layer process will contribute a solution.

Western Digital Shuts Down Hard Drive Factory - Just not Enough Demand

With the advent of solid-state storage in pretty much every device you can think of, demand for mechanical HDDs has gone down, because users prefer fast and compact SSD storage over the mechanical dinosaurs. HDD manufacturers have been trying to stop the inevitable by coming out with new technologies to increase capacity - faster than SSD pricing can drop, but it seems they can't prevent the inevitable.

Now The Register UK reports that Western Digital will close its HDD factory near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is one of the company's first factories, operating since 1973. After the shutdown of the Malaysia plant, WD will be left with only two factories in Thailand, and is now trying to gain more share in the SSD market.

Western Digital Expands Purple Line of HDDs with 12TB Model

To help enable the surveillance industry's evolution to increasingly higher resolution cameras and new applications requiring real-time edge analytics, Western Digital Corporation has expanded its surveillance portfolio with the introduction of the industry's highest capacity, deep-learning-capable, surveillance-class drive, Western Digital Purple 12TB drive with exclusive AllFrame AI technology. The newest addition to Western Digital's surveillance portfolio creates new possibilities in video surveillance by supporting the capture of multiple high resolution video streams while simultaneously accessing recorded video to support deep learning and analytics. This capability is purpose-built for emerging DVR and NVR systems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities in that it supports real-time detection of AI-triggered events at the point of capture with continuous background learning.

According to IDC, the amount of big data exabytes generated by surveillance solutions is expected to grow by 25 percent per year through 20211. This growth is driven by the installation of more complex cameras with vastly improved resolutions, increasingly intelligent applications and overall expanding use of video for analytics globally. Traditional video surveillance systems detect moving subjects without providing detailed analysis. New systems enable additional functions such as real-time edge analytics to better detect objects and reduce false triggers. Objects such as animals, leaves, and even light can cause false alarms. AI-enabled systems not only detect the moving targets, but can analyze them to help determine if they are a potential threat.

Western Digital's 14 TB HDD Qualified by Huawei for Big Data Applications

As a leader in enterprise-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) and the inventor of helium HDD technology, Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that Huawei has qualified its host-managed shingled magnetic recording (SMR) helium-based HDD, the Ultrastar Hs14 - the industry's first 14TB HDD designed for demanding big data applications. An early adopter of Western Digital's SMR HDDs, Huawei is breaking new ground by optimizing its distributed cloud storage OceanStor 9000 system for the sequential nature of data capture in video surveillance applications. Seeing the value in enabling significant TCO improvements, Huawei has made considerable investments in the integration of Western Digital's SMR HelioSeal HDDs, which deliver unsurpassed density, power efficiency and reliability.

Western Digital Reinforces Commitment to 96-layer, BiCS4 3D NAND

Even as researchers expect 3D NAND flash to achieve the 140-layer level by 2021, technology and manufacturers still have to take all the intermediate steps before we're actually there. In that sense, Western Digital has just announced that they're well on their way in producing 96-layer 3D NAND and distributing it to customers. For now, the memory will be used for inexpensive storage solutions, but the idea is to eventually ramp um production for other, higher-performance products.

Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan kept the production ramp-up (and the expectation of BiCS4 production eventually surpassing BiCS3) under wraps, but it seems all is going well with the production. He added that "(...) if you look to where we at from a yield curve perspective, because [BICS4] is not too mature, we are very pleased with where we are. Because once you get to a certain point, you can project where you are going to end at (based on cycles of learning, etc)." As announced by Western Digital before, it's likely this initial production run is delivering 256 Gb capacity chips, with improvements in yields to allow for increased capacity down the road, eventually, up to 1 Tb capacity per chip.

Toshiba Memory Corporation to Expand 3D Flash Memory Production Capacity

Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC) today announced that it decided to start construction of a new state-of-the-art fab for BiCS FLASH , its proprietary 3D flash memory, in Kitakami, Iwate prefecture in July this year.

TMC has selected Kitakami City as the next location to expand its operations in September last year, and has started preparations for construction of the new fab. Demand for 3D flash memory is increasing significantly on fast growing demand for enterprise SSD for datacenters and servers. TMC expects continued strong growth in the mid and long term, and the timing of its construction positions it to capture this growth and expand its business.

The new fab will be completed in 2019, and will have a quake absorbing structure and an environmentally friendly design that includes the latest energy saving manufacturing equipment. It will also introduce an advanced production system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to boost productivity. Decisions on the new fab's equipment investment, production capacity and production plan will reflect market trends. TMC expects to continue its joint venture investments based on discussion with Western Digital in the new facility.

Western Digital Announces New Ultrastar DC HC530 14TB Hard Drive

Enabling new lower levels of total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud and enterprise customers, Western Digital Corporation today introduced the Ultrastar DC HC530 hard drive - at 14TB, no other CMR (conventional magnetic recording) hard drive in the industry offers a higher capacity. The breadth and depth of big data is driving the universal need for higher capacities across a broad spectrum of applications and workloads. Built on Western Digital's fifth-generation HelioSeal technology, the Ultrastar DC HC530 drive is designed for public and private cloud environments where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters for creating the most cost-efficient infrastructure.

The data explosion caused by big data, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, rich content and fast data applications is challenging hyperscale cloud data centers and enterprises to efficiently build massive petabyte-scale infrastructures. This ability to cost-effectively scale-up or scale-out is business critical, not only for cloud service providers but for organizations leveraging big data analytics and machine learning in medical, science, agriculture and other fields seeking innovation, discoveries and unique insights, as well as for creating new business models.

Western Digital Introduces WD Purple microSD Card

As the adoption of 4K Ultra HD video, emerging artificial intelligence (AI) applications and analytics drive the rapid growth and evolution of data in surveillance, Western Digital Corp. today unveiled the Western Digital Purple microSD card, purpose-built for the complex and dynamic data demands of modern surveillance cameras and edge systems.

Whether it's a business employing surveillance video to keep their assets secure or a retailer utilizing surveillance to accurately analyze shopping behavior through video facial recognition, capturing and assessing every moment is critical. Optimized for 24/7 surveillance video capture, surveillance system operators can count on the robust Western Digital Purple microSD card to support a continuous surveillance workload. With its outstanding performance, the card captures and preserves video in a variety of high-definition and next-generation formats, including 4K Ultra HD video, as well as nimbly supports the movement of data to core data systems for analytics and fast business insights. The rugged and humidity-resistant design of this new card enables trusted video capture in a wide range of environmental conditions, including outdoors in snowy winters and indoors in hot and humid factory settings.

Western Digital Launches Three New G-Technology Thunderbolt 3 SSD Solutions

Western Digital Corporation is meeting the escalating fast-transfer and high-capacity demands of professional content creators by enabling real-time 4K and 8K workflows with three new professional-grade ultra-fast solutions in its powerful G-Technology G-DRIVE and G-SPEED Shuttle product families.

Working with large 4K and 8K RAW video means massive file sizes and is undoubtedly one of the largest pain points for content editors. With new cameras capable of capturing over 400 MB/s of RAW data, there is an opportunity for content professionals to create incredibly high-resolution footage and ever-more immersive viewer experiences. It is not uncommon for a production crew to be on-location for two or three months recording three to four terabytes per day of footage from multiple cameras. With this expansion of data capture, comes a potential bottleneck in maintaining a real-time workflow on location - until now.

Western Digital Introduces New Black 3D NVMe SSD

PC gaming is increasingly immersive, with richer and more intense visual content than ever before, and gamers are faced with making technology choices to maximize their experience. To push leading-edge performance, lower power consumption and extended durability for PC gaming systems, Western Digital Corporation today introduced a high-performance Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD featuring the company's own SSD architecture and controller. The drive accelerates data for PC applications to enable users to quickly, access, engage and capture today's high-resolution video, audio and gaming content.

With growing demand for rich content, PCs must have the capability to run intensive applications and enable the 4K/Ultra HD graphics and video content experiences. To move this immense amount of data quickly and seamlessly, Western Digital developed a new breed of SSDs to help remove the traditional storage bottleneck. This M.2 drive features a new NVMe architecture and controller, which optimally integrates with Western Digital 3D NAND. Western Digital's new vertically integrated SSD platform was engineered from the ground up, specifically architected to help maximize performance for NVMe SSDs, with advanced power management, durability and endurance for the growing range of applications benefiting from NVMe technology.

SanDisk Announces a 400GB UHS-I microSDXC Card

As mobile content and applications grow increasingly sophisticated, Western Digital Corporation is transforming the mobile experience with new industry-leading mobile solutions designed to enable consumers to better capture, share and enjoy rich content on their devices. At Mobile World Congress, the company is releasing the world's fastest UHS-I flash memory card, the 400GB SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC card, and demonstrating the future of flash memory card technology with Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe)-enabled cards, designed to deliver the performance required for the next wave of data and content-intensive applications.

Whether it's exploring a new world in an immersive virtual reality app, or capturing 4K footage on a smartphone or drone, consumers can count on Western Digital to deliver even more robust mobile flash memory technology that offers them a premium experience on their favorite device.

Western Digital Announces the PC SN720 and PC SN520 NVMe SSDs

Addressing the needs of a growing landscape of Internet of Things (IoT) and Fast Data applications at the edge, Western Digital Corporation today announced two new NVMe SSDs - Western Digital PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 - powered by a new NVMe storage architecture, scalable for a range of emerging implementations, from IoT and edge computing to mobile computing systems.

The new Western Digital NVMe client architecture and product portfolio will enable manufacturers of IoT devices, computing devices such as thin and light, 2-in-1 and embedded PCs and monitoring systems to enable the capture and transformation of the massive quantities of data in real-time at the edge of smart city, smart home and personal data environments. Cisco GCI estimates that nearly 850 zettabytes (ZB) will be generated by all people, machines and things by 2021. With the advent of high-bandwidth technologies like 5G, augmented reality and facial recognition, new applications can benefit from the exceptional performance, power efficiency and capacity of NVMe and Western Digital 3D NAND to deliver an optimal user experience.

Western Digital Expands Mid-Range Enterprise Hard Drive Offerings

Known for enabling new levels of enterprise total cost of ownership (TCO) with HelioSeal helium hard drive technology and industry leading capacity drives, Western Digital Corporation is expanding its portfolio for enterprise customers with a new, mid-range series of 4 terabyte (TB), 6TB and 8TB air-based hard drives. The new products enable corporate data centers having data set sizes smaller than found in hyperscale environments to harness the power of data across a broad spectrum of Big Data applications such as analytics and distributed file systems.

Western Digital leads the high-capacity enterprise hard drive market for hyperscale and cloud environments with its 10TB, 12TB and 14TB drives, where the company's HelioSeal helium-sealing technology is required for the highest capacities and densities to deliver the lowest (or best) TCO. However, many applications have small data sets or benefit from optimal performance from implementation of a cluster of lower capacity, air-based hard drives. Many traditional data center systems still rely on moderate capacity points for RAID-based block-and-file systems.

WD Announces G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle Thunderbolt 3 DAS

Western Digital Corporation today introduced two new ultra-transportable solutions in its high-powered G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle product family. The new solutions are designed to meet the demands of professional content creators who need lightning-fast transfer speed and a high-capacity storage solution that can easily be moved from the studio to wherever your project takes you, and back.

The rise of streaming video on demand (SVoD) services is providing many new opportunities for studios, production houses and independent filmmakers. To capitalize on these opportunities, the right tools are crucial. When working in-the-field, production teams need a fast solution that can handle demanding workflows of 4K and 8K content with the ability to collect that precious footage and quickly move the content from location to location.

SanDisk Announces New Flash Storage Solutions

At today's Consumer Electronics Show 2018 (CES 2018), Western Digital unveiled new and breakthrough consumer solutions that address today's personal content explosion, including voice-activated media streaming via popular Smart Home devices, the world's smallest 1TB USB flash drive and a portfolio of ultra-mobile, high-performance, wireless and high-capacity flash storage products. Sold under the SanDisk and WD brands, these offerings ensure that personal experiences and memories can thrive for years to come.

Smartphones, drones, action cameras and virtual reality (VR) goggles are capturing and creating rich content that users want to access and share with friends and followers alike. Innovations in multi-lens cameras, 8K video, 5G wireless, VR, augmented reality (AR) and video streaming are enabling more immersive experiences. As a result, consumers are looking for easier ways to capture, preserve, access and share their personal content as it becomes richer and more robust.

Western Digital Ships "Someone's Backdoor" With My Cloud Drives

Western Digital has seemingly been shipping their My Cloud personal network attached storage solutions with an integrated backdoor. It's not really that complicated a backdoor either - a malicious user should always be able to use it. That stems from the fact that it's a hard coded backdoor with unchangeable credentials - logging in to someone's My Cloud is as simple as inputing "mydlinkBRionyg" as the Administrator username and "abc12345cba" as the respective password. Once logged in, shell access is unlocked, which allows for easy injection of commands.

The backdoor has been published by James Bercegay, with GulfTech Research and Development, and was disclosed to Western Digital on June 12th 2017. However, since more than 6 months have passed with no patch or solution having been deployed, the researchers disclosed and published the vulnerability, which should (should) finally prompt WD to action on fixing the issue. Making things even worse, no user action is required to enable attackers to take advantage of the exploit - simply visiting malicious websites can leave the drives wide open for exploit - and the outing of a Metasploit module for this very vulnerability means that the code is now out there, and Western Digital has a race in its hands. The thing is, it needn't have.

Toshiba and WD Reach Global Settlement and Agree to Strengthen Collaboration

Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Memory Corporation, and Western Digital Corporation have entered into a global settlement agreement to resolve their ongoing disputes in litigation and arbitration, strengthen and extend their relationship, and enhance the mutual commitment to their ongoing flash memory collaboration.

As part of this agreement, TMC and Western Digital will participate jointly in future rounds of investment in Fab 6, the state-of-the-art memory fabrication facility now under construction at Yokkaichi, including the upcoming investment round announced by Toshiba in October 2017. Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to the mass production of BiCS FLASH, the next-generation of 3D flash memory, starting next year. TMC and Western Digital similarly intend to enter into definitive agreements in due course under which Western Digital will participate in the new flash wafer fabrication facility which will be constructed in Iwate, Japan.

The parties will strengthen their flash memory collaboration by extending the terms of their joint ventures. Flash Alliance will be extended to December 31, 2029 and Flash Forward to December 31, 2027. Flash Partners was previously extended to December 31, 2029.

Western Digital Announces "State of Object Storage" Survey

Western Digital today announced the results of its first annual "The Growing Role of Object Storage in Solving Unstructured Data Challenges" survey conducted in collaboration with 451 Research. Two hundred enterprise and service provider decision makers and influencers participated in the September 2017 survey, providing new and valuable insights into their unstructured data storage requirements, and their interest in adopting object storage.

The survey validated the ongoing explosion of unstructured data, with 63 percent of enterprises and service providers reporting that their storage capacities are at 50 petabytes (PB) or more, of which, more than half is unstructured data. Most service provider respondents reported growth rates in the 60 to 80 percent range, while enterprise customers hovered more toward 40 to 50 percent annual growth.

Next-generation applications that are driving the adoption of new unstructured data storage technologies, like object storage, include analytics and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as traditional applications, such as web and email that are outgrowing their traditional infrastructures. Increased use of rich media, instead of text data, including audio, video and non-text research and engineering data, are also primary drivers for this data growth.

WD Announces New Line of SanDisk 3D iNAND Embedded Flash Devices

Western Digital today introduced a new portfolio of advanced iNAND embedded flash drives (EFDs) to empower smartphone users to unlock the full potential of today's data-driven applications and experiences. Leveraging Western Digital's 64-layer 3D NAND technology and advanced UFS and e.MMC interface technologies, the intelligent, new iNAND 8521 and iNAND 7550 EFDs deliver outstanding data performance and high storage capacity.

When designed into smartphones and thin, lightweight computing devices, they accelerate the possibilities of a wide range of demanding data-centric applications, including augmented reality (AR), high resolution video capture and rich social media experiences, as well as emerging artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) experiences at the "edge." The volume, velocity, variety and value of data continues to exponentially grow and evolve across Big Data, Fast Data and personal data. Many consumers around the world will experience this confluence of data on their smartphone.

Western Digital To Leverage RISC-V For Big Data And Fast Data Environments

Western Digital Corp. announced today at the 7th RISC-V Workshop that the company intends to lead the industry transition toward open, purpose-built compute architectures to meet the increasingly diverse application needs of a data-centric world. In his keynote address, Western Digital's Chief Technology Officer Martin Fink expressed the company's commitment to help lead the advancement of data-centric compute environments through the work of the RISC-V Foundation. RISC-V is an open and scalable compute architecture that will enable the diversity of Big Data and Fast Data applications and workloads proliferating in core cloud data centers and in remote and mobile systems at the edge. Western Digital's leadership role in the RISC-V initiative is significant in that it aims to accelerate the advancement of the technology and the surrounding ecosystem by transitioning its own consumption of processors - over one billion cores per year - to RISC-V.

WDC Announces Successful Repricing of $2.963 Billion of USD Term B Loans

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) ("Western Digital" or the "company") today announced that it has successfully priced $2.963 billion of new U.S. dollar-denominated term B-3 loans at an interest rate of LIBOR + 2.00%, which priced 75 basis points lower than its previous term B-2 loans issued in March 2017.

This new financing marks the company's third successful repricing of U.S. dollar-denominated term B loans since issuing its original term B loans in connection with its acquisition of SanDisk Corporation in May 2016. In connection with this transaction, Western Digital settled the previous U.S. dollar-denominated term B-2 loans with the proceeds of this new loan. The new financing is expected to generate annual cash interest savings of approximately $22 million beginning on Nov. 8, 2017, resulting from the 75 basis point reduction in interest spread.

The new term loans have the same remaining tenor as the previous U.S. dollar-denominated term B loans and mature on April 29, 2023.
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