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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.

Western Digital Now Ships up to 14 TB UltraStar HS14 HDDs

As computing systems advance and performance is increased, there is also increased need for sufficient storage space to store the results of data processing. Emerging trends and developments in storage technology have seen the promise of new, magnetic-based technologies such as Western Digital's own MAMR technology, which is expected to bring up to 40 TB HDDs in the near future. Until those days are with us, however, improvements on current platter-based technologies are consistent and dependable, with increasing storage space capacities and densities having been delivered by companies in the last few years.

Western Digital has now begun shipping up to 14 TB HDDs, on their UltraStar HS14 family of Enterprise drives, which bring storage areal density up to a staggering 1034 Gb/in². This level of areal storage density was achieved with recourse to SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology, though, which means performance in rewriting already written-to sectors will be somewhat decreased when compared to other HDDs that don't employ this particular technology. These helium-filled HDDs have a 7200 RPM spindle speed and a 512 MB cache to aid offsetting this performance penalty, though. The UltraStar HS14 HDDs also offer numerous technologies to increase reliability and durability of the drive, which, with its Enterprise classification, promise to deliver 2.5 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) accompanied by a five-year warranty. Available interfaces are SATA 6 Gb/s and SAS 12 Gb/s, with the drives being able to sustain transfer rates in the order of 233 MB/s.

Seagate Ready with HAMR Technology Enabling 20TB HDDs by 2018

Hot on the heels of Western Digital's announcement of an MAMR breakthrough enabling 40 TB hard drives in the near future, rival Seagate announced a magnetic storage technology breakthrough of its own, dubbed HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording). This technology will enable the development of hard drives with over 20 terabytes (TB) unformatted capacity by the end of 2018, which is a faster ramp-up than WD's 2019 timeline for the first MAMR-based drives. The first Seagate HAMR-based HDDs will ship with capacities of 20 TB, with the company promising 40 TB drives by 2023, well ahead of the 2025 timeline for 40 TB drives promised by WD.

Seagate HAMR is a fundamentally different technology than Western Digital MAMR. While MAMR relies on a spin-torque oscillator to generate a microwave field that burns finer magnetized bits on the disk, thereby increasing areal densities to 40 Tb per square inch, Seagate HAMR uses an extremely fine laser to heat up the RW head, creating finer magnetized bits. The physical layer of each bit is heated and cooled within nanoseconds, and hence a HAMR RW head draws relatively lower amounts of power - up to 8W for a random-write operation (the most power-consuming operation for a drive). Seagate promises RW endurance of 2 PB.

Sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation Approved by Toshiba's Shareholders

Toshiba Corporation today held an extraordinary shareholders' meeting where Toshiba's shareholders approved the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) previously entered into with K.K. Pangea (Pangea), a special purpose acquisition company formed by the consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity, LP (including affiliates of Bain), for the sale of all shares of Toshiba's wholly-owned subsidiary Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC).

SanDisk LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation, and certain of its subsidiaries have filed for arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration regarding the sale. Despite SanDisk and Western Digital's opposition, Toshiba remains fully determined to resolving the issue through the arbitration process, and looks forward to receiving the arbitrators' decision.

Since signing of the SPA on September 28, 2017, Toshiba and Pangea have been jointly working towards the closing of the transaction by the end of March 2018. Today's approval of the SPA by Toshiba's shareholders is an important step towards closing.

Western Digital Announces Magnetic Storage Breakthrough Enabling 40TB HDDs

At its "Innovating to Fuel the Next Decade of Big Data" event today, Western Digital Corp. announced a breakthrough innovation for delivering ultra-high capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) to meet the future demands of Big Data with proven data center-level reliability. The event, held at the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley, included a demonstration of the world's first microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) HDD and presentations from company executives and the inventor of MAMR technology, Professor Jimmy Zhu from Carnegie Mellon University. The company also showcased advancements in micro actuation and Damascene recording head technology. Western Digital expects to begin shipping ultra-high capacity MAMR HDDs in 2019 for use in data centers that support Big Data applications across a full range of industries.

"As the volume, velocity, variety, value and longevity of both Big Data and Fast Data grow, a new generation of storage technologies are needed to not only support ever-expanding capacities, but ultimately help our customers analyze and garner insights into our increasingly connected universe of data," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital. "Our ground-breaking advancement in MAMR technology will enable Western Digital to address the future of high capacity storage by redefining the density potential of HDDs and introduce a new class of highly reliable, 'ultra-high capacity' drives. We have a proven track record for identifying, investing in and delivering advanced technologies that create new product categories and enable the world to realize the possibilities of data. Five years ago we introduced our HelioSeal, helium-filled drive technology. Since then, we have shipped more than 20 million helium drives. That type of leadership and innovation continues today and we aim to leverage it well into the future."

HGST Announces World's First 14 Terabyte Hard Drive

Western Digital Corp., a global data storage technology and solutions leader, today announced that it is providing cloud and hyperscale data centers the capacity required by big data applications with the world's first 14TB enterprise-class hard drive featuring host-managed shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology. Western Digital's HGST-branded Ultrastar Hs14 delivers 40 percent more capacity and more than twice the sequential write performance of its SMR predecessor, enabling more economical and efficient capture of the growing volume and variety of data.

The future is built on the insights and predictive power of big data. As data grows exponentially, storing it all in an affordable and accessible manner is an ongoing challenge for enterprise and cloud service data center operators. With a focus on total cost of ownership (TCO), the factors of capacity per rack, power consumption, cooling, maintenance, and acquisition cost are all paramount. To combat the big data challenge, Ultrastar Hs14 drives deliver unprecedented capacity leadership and online watt/TB power efficiency for extremely low TCO by harnessing two core complimentary technologies - fourth generation HelioSeal technology, and second generation host-managed SMR - along with enterprise-class reliability.

Toshiba Sells its Memory Business to Bain Capital for $18 Billion

Toshiba today announced that it has signed an agreement with a consortium led by Bain Capital to sell its memory business for JPY 2 trillion (approximately USD $18 billion). The consortium includes Korean memory giant SK Hynix, which contributed JPY 395 billion (nearly 20 percent) of the consortium's investment toward acquisition of Toshiba Memory Corp. Apple and Dell are the other members of the consortium.

Toshiba Corporation (erstwhile parent of Toshiba Memory Corp.) continues to hold a 40.2 percent stake, which along with another Japanese company, Hoya Corporation, holding a 9.9 percent stake, ensure that Japanese firms hold 50.1 percent of the business, keeping Japanese regulators happy. The Bain Capital-led consortium will hold a 49.9 percent stake, ensuring that Toshiba Memory Corp. stays afloat, and away from rival Western Digital, which has dragged Toshiba to a multitude of international courts and arbitrators. Apart from SK Hynix, the Bain Capital-led consortium includes Apple and Dell, who feared they would lose DRAM and NAND flash price bargaining power if Toshiba Memory fell in the hands of Western Digital, which owns SanDisk.

Toshiba Responds to SanDisk's Call for International Arbitration

Western Digital Corporation's subsidiary SanDisk LLC (SanDisk) and certain of its subsidiaries, through their attorneys, have notified Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502)(Toshiba) and Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba, that they have initiated arbitration regarding TMC's planned investments for additional BiCS capacity at TMC's Yokkaichi Operations, including at its Fab 6 building. Although Toshiba has not yet received a formal copy of the arbitration request, and is therefore not in a position to comment regarding its substance, Toshiba is disappointed by Western Digital's initiation of additional arbitration at this important time for the parties' collaboration.

As previously announced, production at Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to BiCS FLASH, Toshiba's premiere 3D Flash memory product. Phase-1 of the fab is scheduled for completion in summer 2018, and will be a unilateral investment by Toshiba following SanDisk's unwillingness to agree to reasonable commercial terms.

SanDisk Initiates New Arbitration Proceedings Against Toshiba In the ICC

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that several of its SanDisk subsidiaries have filed an additional Request for Arbitration with the ICC International Court of Arbitration related to three NAND flash-memory joint ventures ("JVs") operated with Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba").

On Aug. 3, 2017, Toshiba announced that it would unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at the JV operations in Yokkaichi, Japan. The arbitration demand seeks, among other things, a permanent injunction preventing Toshiba from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment for Fab 6 without first giving SanDisk the opportunity to make a comparable investment in expansions and conversions of JV capacity for BiCS 3D NAND flash memory.

Western Digital commented: It is unfortunate that SanDisk is forced to initiate binding arbitration to remedy Toshiba's retaliatory breach of the JV agreement entered into by both SanDisk and Toshiba.

Western Digital Ships 12 TB WD Gold Hard Drives

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global data storage technology and solutions leader, has expanded its WD Gold hard drive lineup to include a 12 TB capacity model, designed to address demanding Big Data workloads. The new high-capacity hard drives provide for increased storage density in a range of enterprise and cloud storage applications. Whether data comes in the form of confidential consumer data, healthcare records or business intelligence, WD Gold hard drives provide a no-compromise storage solution that modern day IT managers need.

"As data growth continues unabated, retaining more of that data and generating meaningful insight from it becomes increasingly important," said Brendan Collins, vice president, Devices business unit, Western Digital. "Businesses that most effectively extract value from operational data are able to make smarter decisions, improve business outcomes and ultimately gain a competitive advantage."

Toshiba Updates on the Sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation

Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) (Toshiba) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bain Capital Private Equity LP (Bain), the lead member of a consortium currently bidding to acquire Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), memorializing the parties' intent to negotiate a mutually satisfactory definitive agreement for the sale of TMC by the end of this month. The decision to enter into the MOU was made by Toshiba's Board of Directors at its meeting today.

As Toshiba stated in its August 31 announcement, "Update on the Sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation," Toshiba has been in continuing negotiations with three consortia of potential purchasers of TMC: a consortium that includes the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Bain and Development Bank of Japan; a consortium that includes Western Digital; and a consortium that includes Hon Hai. In the course of these negotiations Bain has come forward with a new proposal. Toshiba's Board of Directors has determined to continue negotiations with the Bain-led consortium on the basis of this new proposal, and the company will work to expedite the conclusion of a stock purchase agreement by the end of September. Toshiba hereby announces that it has accordingly entered into a non-binding MOU with Bain. The signing of this MOU does not eliminate the possibility of negotiations with other consortia.

WD Comments on Toshiba's Statement Regarding NAND Flash-Memory JV

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today commented on Toshiba Corporation's ("Toshiba") statement regarding the transfer of its interests in its NAND flash-memory joint ventures operated with Western Digital's SanDisk subsidiaries ("JVs"):

"We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action despite Western Digital's tireless efforts to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders. Throughout our ongoing dialogue with Toshiba, we have been flexible, constructive and have submitted numerous proposals to specifically address Toshiba's stated concerns. Our goal has been - and remains - to reach a mutually beneficial outcome that satisfies the needs of Toshiba and its stakeholders, and most importantly, ensures the longevity and continued success of the JVs.

Furthermore, it is surprising that Toshiba would continue to pursue a transaction with a consortium led by Korea-based SK Hynix Inc. and Bain Capital Japan without SanDisk's consent, as the language in the relevant JV agreements is unambiguous, and multiple courts have ruled in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights. We remain confident in our ability to protect our JV interests and consent rights."

Toshiba to Sell Memory Production Sector to WD-led Consortium for $18.3 billion

It's been an interesting time if you're an avid reader of memory-related news pieces. Between increasing prices, Toshiba's debacle and subsequent spin-off of their memory division, to Toshiba and Western Digital butting heads regarding acquisition of said spin-off, and today's news, little was left to thread. Now, reports are surfacing that place Western Digital's consortium as being the (as of yet unofficial) winner in the bid for Toshiba's partial spin-off of their memory division. The deal is being valued at $18.3 billion, Japanese news outlet Nikkan Kogyo says, with Toshiba planning to make a formal decision on Wednesday, with the signing of an agreement to come on Sept. 20.

Western Digital Looking Towards Apple for Additional Funds in Toshiba Bid

The partial spin-off of Toshiba's memory production business, which should see the company shed around 20% of its memory business production stake, still has a lot of water to run under the bridge. Reports said that Toshiba would be suing Western Digital, which Toshiba said tried to continuously interfere with the bidding process, it seems that Western Digital isn't looking to back down any time soon. Reuters is reporting that Western digital is now looking to Apple to bolster its bidding position by another 50 billion Yen (around $464 million) to increase the likelihood of acceptance.

Granted, that is somewhat of a fraction of Western Digital's $17 to $18 billion bid for the chip business, but any increased amount of investment is likely to only sway the decision towards WD, who has a joint venture with Toshiba towards furthering memory semiconductor technology. Even though Toshiba has already elected a preferred bidder, nothing is closed as of yet. That Western Digital is looking towards Apple is slightly surprising, but begins to look less so the more you think about it: Apple is one of the foremost buyers of memory semiconductors in the industry; pricing for both flash and DDR memory has seen price hikes in the past due to increased production of iPhones, after all. It's in Apple's best interests to have an amenable partner in the memory production business, which is why an Apple aid for Western Digital might turn out advantageous for the company. Toshiba executives, fearing that WD might be angling to eventually take over the chip business (which isn't unreasonable), are demanding that the U.S. company promise to limit the size of its stake in the company. Toshiba's board is now aiming to reach a final agreement with the consortium by Sept. 13.

SanDisk Announces a 400GB microSDXC Card

Western Digital Corporation, a global data storage technology and solutions leader, today announced its 400 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, the world's highest-capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices. Two years after introducing its record-breaking 200 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card, Western Digital has doubled the capacity within the same tiny form factor. Keeping up with the demands of today's mobile-centric lifestyle, the new SanDisk microSD card provides consumers with the freedom to capture, save and share photos, videos and apps, and enjoy offline content - all without worrying about storage limitations.

"Mobile devices have become the epicenter of our lives, and consumers are now accustomed to using their smartphones for anything from entertainment to business. We are collecting and sharing massive amounts of data on smartphones, drones, tablets, PCs, laptops and more. We anticipate that storage needs will only continue to grow as people continue to expect more sophisticated features on their devices and desire higher quality content," Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president, IDC. "We estimate mobile device users worldwide will install over 150 billion applications alone this year, which require a ton of memory on all of our favorite devices."

Western Digital Updates My Book Duo Desktop Storage - Up to 20 TB

For some users, having three HDDs of differing capacities in their system isn't the right solution for achieving the storage space they need. Others don't want to have their files uploaded to the cloud, where security and access times to their files may become hindrances. Some people just like to have all their files offline, in a (somewhat) portable medium that achieves up to 360 MB/s sequential read speeds. Enter Western Digital's updated My Book Duo external desktop storage.

RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives (formatted NTFS out of the box) enable those read speeds, and capacities of 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, 12 TB, 16 TB and 20 TB are available. Connectivity-wise, the My Book duo offers USB Type-C and Type-A, while security isn't left out the door, with built-in password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security software. The unit measures 7.09 x 6.3 x 3.94 inches and weighs between 5.05 to 5.25 pounds depending on drive capacity. The My Book Duo is available now, with pricing at $259.99 for the 4 TB unit, and a maximum of $799.99 for the 20 TB model, all with a three-year warranty.

Western Digital, SanDisk Shipping 3D NAND Blue and Ultra SSDs

Western Digital and SanDisk have updated their Blue and Ultra line of consumer SSDs with the latest 3D BiCS FLASH NAND technology. Capacities will range from 250 GB capacities through 500 GB and up to 1TB at launch, with a 2 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD "coming soon." The hardware powering each drive is exactly the same, save for the difference in available storage: the controller used is a Marvell 88SS1074, protocol is SATA 6Gbps / AHCI, and even warranty stays the same through all WD and SanDisk models, at three-years (limited.)

The WD Blue line of SSDs will be available in both 2.5" and M.2 2280 single-sided models. Sequential read speed starts at 550 MB/s for both WD Blue 250 GB and SanDisk Ultra 3D, with sequential write speeds at a rated 525 MB/s and read/write IOPS being set at 95,000/81,000 respectively. All other (higher) capacities deliver slightly more performance: 560 MB/s sequential read speeds, 530 MB/s sequential writes, 95,000 random read IOPS, and 84,000 random write IOPS. Pricing is as follows: WD Blue 3D 250 GB ($89); Blue 3D 500 GB ($149.99), Blue 3D 1 TB ($279.99); SanDisk Ultra 3D 250 GB ($99.99), Ultra 3D 500 GB ($164.99), Ultra 3D 1TB ($279.99) and Ultra 3D 2TB ($549.99, currently unavailable.)

Western Digital Announces Four-Bits-Per-Cell (X4) Technology on 3D NAND

Western Digital Corp. today announced its successful development of four bits per cell, X4, flash memory architecture offering on 64-layer 3D NAND, BiCS3, technology. Building on its pioneering innovation of X4 for 2D NAND technology and past success in commercializing it, the company has now developed X4 for 3D NAND by leveraging its deep vertical integration capabilities. These include silicon wafer processing, device engineering to provide sixteen distinct data levels in every storage node, and system expertise for overall flash management. BiCS3 X4 technology delivers an industry-leading storage capacity of 768 gigabits on a single chip, a 50 percent increase from the prior 512 gigabit chip that was enabled with the three bits per cell (X3) architecture. Western Digital will showcase removable products and solid-state drives built with BiCS3 X4 and systems capabilities in August at the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California.

"The implementation of X4 architecture on BiCS3 is a significant development for Western Digital as it demonstrates our continued leadership in NAND flash technology, and it also enables us to offer an expanded choice of storage solutions for our customers," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, Memory Technology, Western Digital. "The most striking aspect in today's announcement is the use of innovative techniques in the X4 architecture that allows our BiCS3 X4 to deliver performance attributes comparable to those in BiCS3 X3. The narrowing of the performance gap between the X4 and X3 architectures is an important and differentiating capability for us, and it should help drive broader market acceptance of X4 technology over the next several years."
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