WD Invests in Enterprise SSD Maker “Skyera”

/ 4 years ago


Western Digital seem to be making their move into the SSD market by investing into SSD development. WD ‘co-invested’ $51 Million to an Enterprise SSD manufacturer Skyera whose primary focus is to provide cost effect storage solution.

According to the press release, it shows that it will involve more than just an investment as the companies will have a joint technology development.

It may not be clear, but since the press release talks about shyHawk storage units, a 19/20nm MLC NAND based rack mount server solution, its apparent that would be one of the primary focus. shyHawk is Skyera’s proprietary controller which uses advance flash management algorithm which can extend the lifespan of the NAND flash. The controller has the capability to do soft writes during lower I/O activity, therefore using lower electric charge during writing to a cell. Top that with a less-than$3 per GB claim that Skyera promises, this would be an ideal solution for a lot of businesses.

The controller also uses a compression feature and a RAID-6 like feature which works together to reduces flash writes upto 10k, according to the claims that Skyera makes.

Even though the focus seems more on rack mount SSD servers, it should be interesting to see if WD/Skyera would be using these controls in a consumer grade SSD. Looking at the features of the controls, this can even be benefitted in MLC based SSD drives, although one would expect that these controllers maybe be stripped down as enterprise class features will be redundant. Afterall, Western Digital is behind Red series, a stripped down enterprise version of the mechanical storage solution. How long would we see an SSD lineup from WD is a waiting game, considering that their previous attempt wasn’t really special to be considered a serious choice, at least in comparison with other consumer grade SSDs that were available during at the time.

WD also added that the amount of $51 Million that they’re investing is a “Series B” round of financing. With serious funding from a traditional hard drive manufacturer, Skyera would most likely be beneficial for WD to get a grip in an already crowded SSD market.

Via: The Tech Report

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