Western Digital Finally Bets on SSDs with SilicanSystems Buy

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Storage maker Western Digital is getting into the solid-state drive (SSD) business, announcing today that it has bought up California SSD supplier SiliconSystems for some $65 million in cash. SiliconSystems has primarily been selling solid-state drives to makers of embedded systems used in industry, the military, aerospace, and medical markets, along with SSD devices used in networking and communications gear. The deal makes Western Digital one of the last big storage vendors to get into flash-based SSD technologies—and the fact that it’s doing so through an acquisition may indicate the company hasn’t been working on the technology in-house.

“We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD,” said Western Digital CEO and president John Coyne, in a statement. “SiliconSystems’ intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD’s solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client, and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements.”

Western Digital says it will begin integrating SiliconSystems’ business and technology immediately with an eye towards consumer markets; however, SiliconSystems’ existing expertise should WD a strong foothold in embedded systems and enterprise markets, where uptime, reliability, and data protection are paramount concerns.