38 Facts About Western Digital


Western Digital Corporation is an American computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company, headquartered in San Jose, California.

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Western Digital has a long history in the electronics industry as an integrated circuit maker and a storage products company.

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Western Digital was founded on April 23, 1970, by Alvin B Phillips, a Motorola employee, as General Digital Corporation, initially a manufacturer of MOS test equipment.

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In 1973, Western Digital established its Malaysian plant, initially to manufacture semiconductors.

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Western Digital introduced several products during the late 1970s, including the MCP-1600 multi-chip, microcoded CPU.

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That year, Western Digital bought the hard drive production assets of PC hardware maker Tandon; the first products of that union under Western Digital's own name were the "Centaur" series of ATA and XT attachment drives.

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In 1994, Western Digital began producing hard drives at its Malaysian factory, employing 13, 000 people.

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Western Digital's drives started to slip further behind competing products, and quality began to suffer; system builders and PC enthusiasts who used to recommend Western Digital above all else, were going to the competition, particularly Maxtor, whose products had improved significantly by the late 1990s.

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The idea worked, and Western Digital regained respect in the press and among users, even despite a recall in 2000.

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Western Digital advertised the JB models for cost-effective file servers.

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In October 2001, Western Digital restated its prior year results to reflect the adoption of SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No 101 and the reclassification of Connex and SANavigator results as discontinued operations.

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In 2003, Western Digital acquired most of the assets of bankrupt one-time market leading magnetic hard drive read-write head developer Read-Rite Corporation.

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In 2004, Western Digital redesigned its logo for the first time since 1997, with the design of new logo focusing on the company's initials.

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In 2006, Western Digital introduced its My Book line of mass market external hard drives that feature a compact book-like design.

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Also in the same year, Western Digital adopted perpendicular recording technology in its line of notebook and desktop drives.

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Western Digital started to produce the energy efficient GP range of drives.

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Western Digital said that the new drives are 35 percent faster than the previous generation.

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On March 30, 2009, they entered the solid-state drive market with the acquisition of Siliconsystems, Inc Its acquisition was unsuccessful, and few years later Western Digital discontinued all solid-state storage products based on Siliconsystems design, but its inventions was used later in development of various other solid-state storage products, with larger developments going on after 2016 acquisition of SanDisk.

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In March 2011, Western Digital agreed to acquire the storage unit of Hitachi, HGST, for about $4.

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In March 2012, Western Digital completed the acquisition of HGST and became the largest traditional hard drive manufacturer in the world.

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In September 2017, Western Digital acquired Tegile Systems, maker of flash memory storage arrays.

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Western Digital rebranded Tegile as IntelliFlash and sold it to DataDirect Networks in September 2019.

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In December 2017, Western Digital reached an agreement with Toshiba about the sale of the jointly owned NAND production facility in Japan.

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In October 2017, Western Digital shipped the world's first 14 TB HDD, the helium-filled HGST Ultrastar Hs14.

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In July 2018, Western Digital announced their plan to close their hard disk production facility in Kuala Lumpur to shift the company towards flash drive production, leaving the company with just two HDD production facilities in Thailand.

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Western Digital ranked 158th on the 2018 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue.

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Western Digital used Kioxia's facilities for making its own flash memory chips.

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In November 2020, Western Digital produced a new consumer SSD, the WD Black SN850 1TB.

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Western Digital's embedded storage devices include the iNAND product line and custom embedded products.

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Western Digital provides microSD and SD card products to OEMs only for automotive and industrial applications.

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Western Digital sells external hard drives under the WD brand, with product families called My Passport, My Book, WD Elements, and Easystore.

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Under the SanDisk brand, Western Digital offers mobile storage products, cards and readers, USB flash drives, SSDs and MP3 players.

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Under the SanDisk Professional brand, Western Digital offers HDD, SSD, platforms and systems products designed specifically for creative professionals.

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Western Digital offers the My Cloud series of products, which function as home media servers.

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In September 2015, Western Digital released My Cloud OS 3, a platform that enables connected HDDs to sync between PCs and mobile devices.

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Western Digital sells data center hardware and software including an enterprise-class Ultrastar product line that was previously sold under the HGST brand.

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In May 2020, Western Digital was sued for using shingled magnetic recording technology in its NAS line of consumer drives without explicitly informing consumers.

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Seagate, another data storage company and a direct competitor of Western Digital, stated that SMR is not suitable for NAS use and that Seagate uses only conventional magnetic recording in its NAS-oriented products.

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