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Thread: Western Digital (WD) announces it plans to aquire Sandisk

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Western Digital (WD) announces it plans to aquire Sandisk

    "Western Digital announced plans to acquire SanDisk Corporation, a company that specializes in memory chips and SD cards. According to a statement released on Wednesday, Western Digital will purchase all of SanDisk’s shares in a deal totaling about $19 billion; a combination of both cash and stock will be paid".

    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/514...cquire-sandisk
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    Not sure this will be good for us.

    Sandisk have a VERY high standard that neither WD or Seagate quite match.
    WD and Seagate are good; but have a clunker rate higher than Sandisk.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, hopefully they'll keep their hands in their pockets. - Though it doesn't sound like it

    (Actually, they are the two brands I get - oh, and Toshiba of late.)
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    Western Digital and Seagate have traditionally been spinning disk manufacturers. I suspect that WD are trying to get into the SSD market... best way is to buy the manufacturer of the best SSD's. This way they move from being one of the best HDD manufacturers to being one of the best SSD manufacturers... assuming they don't mess with the operations of sandisk...

    Seems to me that SSD's will eventually replace spinning disk technology, the same way digital cameras have replaced film cameras... the companies that will survive will be the ones that embrace the newer technology.
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I doubt that WD are trying to get into a new market as it is unlikley that the current SSD technology will ever replace disk technology. On the other hand there are considerable synergies between Sandisk and WD that could provide overall economies for the new, larger company. I also don't think that Sandisk is a more quality focused company than either Seagate or WD. I know that Seagate provide high end disk as well as the cheaper disks we use and quality is paramount in disk arrays where there may be 1000 disks in an array. I suspect that WD also provide high end disks. Anyway, the only disk manufacturers that have survived are those that focus on quality. SSDs break less often, partly because of the way they work and partly because they are much smaller in capacity.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    I doubt that WD are trying to get into a new market as it is unlikley that the current SSD technology will ever replace disk technology. ....
    Unless current magnetic drive process sees a massive injection of ground breaking tech, I can't see why SSD won't replace WD's and Seagate's bread and butter profit sources!
    Samsung changed to a flash based only manufacturing process a few years back, meaning that they no longer produce mechanical drive hardware any more.

    Only recently they created their 16Tb monster SSD, and while it's a drive that costs in the tens of thousands of dollars now .. just like with card based flash tech .. those prices will drop to more easily achieved levels by the mortal consumer.
    I think it also came with the headline that it's the largest single unit drive capacity as well .. beating the previously largest 10Tb HDD.
    So it's a pointer of things to come.

    From this news we hope that the current cost per terabyte difference will come down to parity between the two different technologies.
    At the moment the price difference for a single drive at 1Tb is something like 600x or so(~$600 for an SSD @ 1Tb and less than $100 for a mechanical drive).
    If this new tech that Samsung has created(using stacked flash memory .. not simply adding more memory chips!) can reduce this difference in price to about 2x .. I'm sure most would gladly accept that difference.

    I generally look for the largest capacity drive but balance that with a keen eye on $/Tb factor. So that is, while I can get a single 6Tb drive for (say) $300-400 .. I still prefer the slightly cheaper 3Tb drives at just under half the price each, meaning that it'll cost less(only just) for the same 6tb capacity .. but I do so over a broader range of hardware too, meaning that I do lose a drive to failure, I don't lose as much!
    The more drives I need to use to store the increasing data amount, the more power I use to keep them running too. SSD's use about 1/1oth the power that mechanical drives do.
    So with HDD's it's not a matter of simply adding more drives, not only due to the physical size constraints, but more so for the eventual power requirement.

    So I'd happily pay 2x .. but the current difference is the only factor that holds SSD's from taking over the world!
    I I were head honcho at WD .. I'd be looking at it from Samung's point of view! They have no interest in HDD tech, they only make SSD's and they're 10x the capacity/price ratio at the moment.
    It's in Samsung's interest to bring that price ratio down to parity as far as it practical, even if that means those higher density drives a lose a small amount of speed compared to the current SSD tech.
    They're still faster than HDDs.
    So me, now being the WD head honcho, would be panicking heavily and looking to get into SSD technology as quickly and deeply as possible.
    So my initial take on this news when it first came out was exactly as said .. WD looking to secure their future in storage manufacturing.

    The next couple of years will be very telling. I see no reason why 1Tb SSD hardware should cost more than about $200-300 a pop!
    If this is the reason for WD's purchase of Sandisk .. then it's good news. More SSD makers getting in on the cost reduction bandwagon means quicker cost reducing technology!
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Arthur, I worked in this area of technology for about 20 years, though now I don't have much more than a passing interest in what happens, and my focus was always on very large systems and not PCs. Still, I think I understand the forces at play.
    SSDs have been around from the early 80's and it has always been the case that various people would predict that disks would die and SSDs will take over in a few years. It hasn't happened yet. That's not to say that it won't but there are other things happening that may make it irrelevant. Storage demands on PCs isn't rising as fast as it might if it were not for cloud storage. Some of us may need disks for a considerable time yet (i've got about 30TB of disk), but many will be able to use SSD. This is not to say that disk will die as the cloud will need to use massive amounts of storage, which is more than likely to be disk for at least the foreseeable future (say 10 years). Also the Googles and other large users will still require vast amounts of disk .

    Perhaps WD are hedging their bets as they may not be a prominent large system provider. They may see a danger that they will lose out if the disk market trends to focus on large systems.

    I'd love to be able to afford SSD for all my storage, but I can buy a WD 4TB drive for less than $150 which is half your wish for 1TB of storage. That's 8 times the cost and its just a wish. Currently the real price difference is about 20 times. We have more than a couple of years to wait, and it is very likely that the technology will have changed by the time the shift takes place. Of course, for very small systems (laptops, phones, pads, watches, etc) it will make sense to use a combination of cloud storage and SSD. In this case size is more important than cost.

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    Oh well, atleast its WD and not Seagate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    ....
    SSDs have been around from the early 80's and it has always been the case that various people would predict that disks would die and SSDs will take over in a few years. It hasn't happened yet. That's not to say that it won't but there are other things happening that may make it irrelevant. .....
    I fully respect your prior knowledge on the topic Steve, but the forces that create change aren't normally(or usually) from the establishment(of which both WD and Seagate are).

    Photography has changed only in the last, what 5 or 6 years or so, and while phones had cameras in them for a long time before that .. all you hear now is that 500 zillion billion trillion gazillion images get captured every nanosecond .. and all due to smartphones.
    To me .. this useless fact is one of who really cares but the underlying point is that the demand for photography has come as a consequence of forces that had no idea of what and how to do it originally.
    eg. Apple's only real foot in the photography realm was more about the eventual processing of the captures .. not the actual capturing of the images. Now they make the worlds most popular camera brand! .. where's Canon/Nikon/Fuji/Kodak in that growth sector?

    Like I said, to my understanding of what's going to happen, is that Samsung, not really the most established player in the storage field, are the one's creating the change here.
    In 2009 when I was looking for Terabyte storage capacity(as I was then running 4 250G drives to achieve that), I came across a review that Samsung's drives were the (then) fastest, and I wanted both faster and bigger, as the almost 1 Tb of data I had was getting very painful to maintain back ups. It'd take over a day sometimes to rewrite a full backup of this data.

    Like I said, they now only make SSDs, and it'll be in their interest to expand the SSD market into areas where the HDD market is dominant.
    I think that's why they accepted some of the not so favourable reviews of their recent 3D(stacked) flash technology in the 850 series, they're not as quick as the faster non stacked 2 bit flash tech.
    But they pack more capacity per die, and hence less dies per drive .. cheaper with more capacity .... etc.
    So while Samsung probably don't really see the enterprise storage area as a growth market(I'm just guessing), the technology of the more densely packed flash dies is complimentary to the mobile market too .. and that's where the billions are.
    That is, the same flashy tech to be used for these cheaper Tb SSD's, will also go into mobile devices too .. why pay the same amount for an 8G mobile device, when you can have the 64G version instead!

    I can't remember the prices to the exact dollar, but last time I looked they were the prices I kind'a remembered.
    (I'm looking to build myself a NAS, and regularly check storage prices, but not every day .. at $150 for 4Tb, I may start this thing sooner then rather than later)

    But, again with Samsung, they have a new 2Tb SSD, and while it's still hopelessly over priced at $1k (compared to 4Tb of HDD), compared to Sandisks' 2Tb drive @ $3K .. it's a bargain .. and if the past is an indicator to the future with respect to storage pricing .. in a years time that $1k will dwindle to $500 when Samsung then create the cheapest 3 or 4Tb SSD .. at $1K a pop.
    Another market I see this 'compressed/high density flash' technology working well for is the mobile storage area.
    Many times you read a post asking what's the best way to store/save images whilst on holidays. The largest 2.5" HDD is in the order or 1Tb(that I can see) in any value for money sense.
    HDD's use a tone of power in the mobile device world .. I know, I spent a good deal of $'s a few years back to change my 10" tablet's HDD to an SSD more so for the lower power consumption .. with a hit in capacity.
    But as this more densely packed flash tech improves, it's not hard to imagine a 1 or 2 Tb nano/micro SSD(in mSATA or M2 connection form factor), that would easily fit into a typical 7-8" tablet device(like a Samsung/Sony/ASUS/Google Android device) with 1-2Tb of storage capacity!
    A tiny form factor that can store your holiday pics for months on end. Why would you bother with any of the massive(by comparison) so called netbook designs!?

    For me .. cloud storage isn't a solution worth a grain of salt. I can't get cloud storage when I'm at Lake Eyre! .. I can't afford the insane data costs when I can't access Wifi(ie. out on the road).
    I have no time for the insanely slow upload speeds .. etc.
    I use clouds only for data that I usually access regularly, and even then, only as my backup data .. eg. if I forget to sync the latest version of some data I entered on the PC to the phone/tablet or something .. or if the microSD card has failed again! on the phone.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I agree about the cloud storage, but then we aren't the average user who will consume most of the chips. We will still need relatively large amounts of storage, which will include disk for quite a few years yet. The guy with the Apple Watch will certainly not use disk, but does that matter to you. I have heard so many predictions over the years that I take them with a large grain of salt, particularly when there is good reason to doubt them.
    I doubt that Samsung will be the next Apple, Microsoft or IBM. They were all software companies and it is the software that will always rule.

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