Storage Companies Week In Review: SanDisk, Seagate, Western Digital

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Flash storage provider SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) announced its intention to release its 16 terabyte (1 terabyte = 1,000 gigabytes) solid state drive (SSD) by 2016. SanDisk’s 16TB by 2016 mimics Seagate’s (NASDAQ:STX) marketing campaign “20TB by 2020” for laser-assisted hard drives. Seagate is currently focusing on releasing its first laser-assisted heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) drive next year. On the other hand, hard drive manufacturer Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) has witnessed strong performance in its consumer electronics and branded product sales, especially My Cloud personal cloud and network-attached storage (NAS), in 2014 thus far. The stocks of Western Digital and Seagate rose by 2-3% in the last week of November, while SanDisk’s stock rose by over 4%. Comparatively, the NASDAQ-100 and S&P-500 indices rose by about 1-2% in that duration. Here’s a quick roundup on the developments in the storage industry.

SanDisk Corporation

SanDisk announced that it will launch a 16 TB flash by 2016, a significant improvement on the 10TB currently made by IBM (NYSE:IBM). SanDisk management mentioned that the company will build the new drives on the same platform as its 4TB drive, which it launched back in April this year. [1] The company intends to double the capacity of these drives on an annual basis, with an 8TB drive scheduled for launch next year. With the triple-layer cell (TLC) technology that SanDisk has, the company can theoretically produce 24TB drives within two years. [2]

See our full analysis for SanDisk

Seagate Technology

Seagate is betting big on its laser-assisted hard disk drive or heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) drives. These drives have a relatively higher (up to 5x) areal density of storage compared to traditional hard drives. Currently, the highest areal density offered by Seagate is 1TB per square inch, while HAMR drives can store up to 5TB/square inch. [3] Seagate is targeting a 20TB drive by 2020.

See Our Full Analysis For Seagate Technology

Western Digital

Western Digital released My Cloud OS 1.5 app earlier this month. The app allows users to access data from external hard drives connected to their personal computers from a different location via the Internet. The app has 4 million downloads to date for the iOS and Android versions combined. Western Digital’s My Cloud, a backup and unified storage solution for a single user or for a family to store data “in house”, is accessible across all devices including laptops, personal computers, tablets and smartphones across platforms such as Android, iOS and Windows.

See our full analysis for Western Digital

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Notes:
  1. It’s here, the 4TB FLASH drive: SanDisk rips sheet from the Optimus MAX, The Register, April 2014 []
  2. SanDisk vows: We’ll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016, The Register, November 2014 []
  3. Seagate preps for 30TB laser-assisted hard drives, Computer Weekly, November 2014 []
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