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Western Digital Announces WD Blue SN570 M.2 NVMe SSD

According to a recent report, it is estimated that more than 50 million people across the globe self-identified as having a career in the cultural and creative industries. With the everchanging definition of "creator" in a technology-driven world, this title now reaches beyond graphic designers and videographers to include content creators, UI/UX designers, artists and illustrators, entrepreneurs and freelancers, engineers, architects, grad students and more.

When crunching large amounts of data on their next passion project, access to fast and reliable storage solutions can greatly improve a creator's workflow, giving them peace of mind and allowing them to stay in the creative moment. With intense workload demands, today's creative professionals need technology that empowers their creativity without stress over losing their brilliant work, project bottlenecks or slow storage speeds.

Western Digital's Flash Innovation Helps Small- to Medium-sized Businesses and WFH Warriors Tackle Extreme Workloads and Collaborate Faster Using NAS

According to an IDC 2021 FutureScape, by 2021, at least 70% of digitally-enabled small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will operate under a hybrid model of working, with remote work emerging as a norm. This can put pressure on business owners as they, their staff or IT consultants support advanced use cases like virtualization, collaborative editing and intensive database workloads in order to manage the seamless flow of data.

For SMBs, NAS or network attached storage, is one of the most widely used methods for accessing, sharing and protecting data alongside the cloud. NAS solutions help SMBs solve for latency and remote shared access to data or applications across the network. "SMBs need robust systems that are efficient and intuitive to manage, and in many cases they need some sort of infrastructure on-premises. A NAS solution can benefit SMBs of all sizes, providing the performance, capacity and reliability they need. For more advanced and performance intensive applications, however, the NAS system will need a boost," said Eric Spanneut, vice president of Client and Enterprise SSDs for Western Digital's Flash Business unit. "Our new WD Red SN700 NVMe SSD is the perfect caching solution to complement our WD Red HDDs in a high-capacity NAS environment."

Western Digital Reimagines The Hard Drive with OptiNAND Technology

At the company's HDD Reimagine event today, Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) introduced a new flash-enhanced drive architecture that breaks traditional boundaries of storage. Building on the company's unique ability to innovate with HDD and flash, the new storage architecture with OptiNAND technology optimizes and integrates HDDs with iNAND embedded flash drives. This gives customers - like hyperscale cloud, CSPs, enterprises, smart video surveillance partners, NAS suppliers and more - a solution to meet the exponential growth in data creation by delivering the capacity, performance and reliability needed to store vast amounts of data today and well into the future.

Leveraging industry-first technologies including triple-stage actuator (TSA) and HelioSeal technology, the first products featuring the new drive architecture will deliver an unsurpassed 2.2 TB per platter, extending capacities gains on proven ePMR technology. Setting a new industry milestone, Western Digital has shipped samples of new nine-disk, 20 TB ePMR flash-enhanced drives with OptiNAND technology to select customers.

KIOXIA and Western Digital in Merger Talks

KIOXIA and Western Digital are in talks to merge, creating a behemoth in the data storage industry. This would be KIOXIA's first big corporate move after being spun off from Toshiba Corporation as its flash memory business. The combination—if it goes through—would essentially see the merger of three distinct brands—KIOXIA, Western Digital, and SanDisk; with KIOXIA and SanDisk bringing together market-leading expertise in flash memory; and Western Digital bringing in "warm" and cold storage solutions, such as hard drives. 5G is expected to create an explosion in data, and the merged trans-Pacific entity could more effectively address it. A deal worth $20 billion could be struck by mid-September, if the merger talks succeed. KIOXIA is declining to comment on the story, as it prepares its IPO that includes shares from Toshiba and Bain Capital. Shares of Western Digital, meanwhile, are trading up.

NAND Flash Revenue for 2Q21 Rises by 10.8% QoQ Due to Strong Notebook Demand and Procurements for Data Centers, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash suppliers' Clients in the data center segment were gradually stepping up enterprise SSD procurement after finishing inventory adjustments, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Moreover, the adoption rate of 4/8 TB products in the enterprise SSD market increased substantially on account of the releases and adoption of the new server processor platforms from Intel and AMD. Although the recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that struck Southeast Asia weakened smartphone sales in 2Q21, the quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipments rose by nearly 9% QoQ, as PC OEMs still had plenty of component orders in 2Q21 due to the fairly robust notebook demand during the period. On the other hand, the shortage of controller ICs became more severe during the period, and the winter storm that battered Texas this February affected the operation of Samsung's foundry fab Line S2 in Austin. As demand for NAND Flash products rose, the overall ASP also rose by nearly 7% QoQ, and the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue rose by 10.8% QoQ to US$16.4 billion in 2Q21.

Western Digital Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Results

Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) today reported fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021 financial results. "I am extremely proud of the outstanding execution our team exhibited as we achieved another quarter of strong revenue, gross margin and EPS results above expectations," said David Goeckeler, Western Digital CEO. "Throughout this fiscal year, we successfully delivered both flash and hard drive innovations that are essential building blocks in the acceleration of the data economy. This innovation, combined with our broad channels to market, diverse end market exposure and improved operational efficiency, enabled us to successfully navigate through the pandemic and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities. We believe we have the right foundation for success - the right products, the right customer base, and the unique ability to address two very large and growing markets."

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.
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