Toshiba and WD trade hard drive making equipment, factory and IP

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TOSHIBA will acquire some of Western Digital’s 3.5 inch hard disk drive manufacturing equipment and IP, while transferring its Thailand HDD making subsidiary to Western Digital.

The acquisition and facility transfer will be complete by March 2012.

Under the agreement, Toshiba will acquire the following equipment and intellectual property from Western Digital.

  • Manufacturing equipment for 3.5-inch HDDs for use in desktop PCs and other consumer applications, plus related intellectual property; and
  • Manufacturing equipment for near-line HDDs for server applications.

Related to the deal, Toshiba also has agreed to transfer to Western Digital its entire shareholding in TSDT, a wholly owned hard disk manufacturing subsidiary based in Thailand.

Toshiba says the global market for hard disk drives and other storage devices will continue to grow, because unlike DRAM, storage is required by most devices, including the burgeoning markets of tablets and smart phones. Cloud computing trends will also increase data centre demand for hard drive storage.

Toshiba acquired Fujitsu’s HDD business in 2009, expanding its product portfolio of small form factor HDDs for mobile applications with Fujitsu’s enterprise HDDs. In July 2011 Toshiba unified the Semiconductor Company and the Storage Products Company, covering NAND flash memories, SSDs (solid state drives) and HDDs.

The purchase of part of Western Digital’s 3.5-inch HDD manufacturing equipment and with it the capability to produce 3.5-inch HDDs for desktop PCs, DVR and other consumer applications, will expand Toshiba’s portfolio and enable the company to supply products covering all segments of the HDD market.

After pulling out of Thailand, Toshiba will consolidate HDD production at its two HDD manufacturing facilities in the Philippines and a contract manufacturer in China.