Western Digital acquires solid-state drive firm

— 9:57 AM on March 30, 2009

Despite displaying a lukewarm attitude toward SSDs last year, Western Digital has taken a big step into the market today by acquiring solid-state drive maker SiliconSystems. The $65 million transaction is already complete, and SiliconSystems has become WD's Solid-State Storage business unit.

WD says it's purchased a leading player in the embedded SSD market: SiliconSystems' SiliconDrive products are purportedly designed to "meet the high performance, high reliability and multi-year product lifecycle demands of the network-communications, industrial, embedded-computing, medical, military and aerospace markets." The 2002 start-up also holds "extensive intellectual property" for serving those markets.

Naturally, though, WD has plans beyond embedded products. SiliconSystems' product line already includes Serial ATA and IDE drives with 2.5" and 1.8" form factors, and WD says it's cooking up SSDs for the "netbook, client and enterprise markets." In other words, expect to see laptops and desktop PCs sporting WD SSDs in the not-too-distant future.

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