Western Digital sells Intelliflash business to big data storage supplier DDN

The sale is part of Western Digital's decision to exit the Storage Systems business all together.

This microSD card crams 400GB of storage into your smartphone Western Digital just showed off “the world's highest-capacity” microSD card. The SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I crams 400GB of storage into your smartphone. It’s the highest-capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices. It can hold 40 hours of Full HD video and can transfer data at up to 100MBps. At that speed, you can move 1,200 3.5MB photos per minute over USB 3.0. The card is being aimed at Android smartphone and tablet users. It comes with a 10-year warranty and a US retail price of $249.99. Western Digital says its production processes allowed for more bits per die. Only two years ago, Western Digital's biggest microSD card stood at 200GB for $399. When the microSD card format first launched in 2004, it had 128MB of capacity.

Western Digital on Thursday said it's selling its IntelliFlash data center systems portfolio to DDN, a big data storage supplier. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  

The sale is part of Western Digital's decision to exit the Storage Systems business altogether, the company said. As part of that effort, it's also exploring "strategic options" for its ActiveScale portfolio. 

By unloading its storage systems businesses, Western Digital said it will be able to focus its Data Center portfolio around Storage Platforms. That includes the OpenFlex platform and fabric-attached storage technologies. Earlier this month, Western Digital acquired Kazan Network, expanding its expertise in fabric-enabled architectures.

"As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success," Mike Cordano, Western Digital president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation."

In addition to the IntelliFlash deal, Western Digital and DDN agreed to a multi-year deal in which DDN will increase its purchase of Western Digital's HDD and SSD storage devices. After the IntelliFlash deal goes through, Western Digital will remain one of the largest consumers of IntelliFlash products, the companies said. 

The transaction is expected to close later this calendar year.