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Western Digital buys its way into solid-state drive market

Hard disk drive maker pays $65 million for SiliconSystems, which specializes in solid-state drives. With the acquisition, Western Digital is now instantly a player in that market.

Correction: This post previously misstated the location of Western Digital's headquarters.

Western Digital on Monday announced it has acquired solid-state drive maker SiliconSystems for $65 million.

The purchase will provide the current market leader in 2.5-inch drives with a way into the growing SSD market. Based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., SiliconSystems was established in 2002, and makes SSD products for communications, industrial, embedded systems, medical, military, and aerospace applications. SiliconSystems' product lineup includes SSDs with a variety of interfaces, including SATA, EIDE, PC Card, USB, and CF, in 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, and CF.

The Lake Forest, Calif.-based Western Digital has a strong presence in the notebook industry with its 2.5-inch drives, but not the rapidly expanding Netbook segment. With the acquisition, Western Digital is now instantly a player in that market.

"SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the Netbook, client and enterprise markets," said Western Digital President and CEO John Coyne in a statement Monday.

SiliconSystems will be integrated into Western Digital right away. The new business will be named the WD Solid-State Storage business unit.