Western Digital Opens Up Singapore-Based Hard Drive R&D Center

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News Posted: Sat, Feb 26 2011 3:27 AM
When the going gets tough, the tough start innovating. That's not exactly how the saying goes, but it definitely applies. Western Digital is seeing loads of increased competition in the storage space, and they're looking to stay one step ahead of those rivals by investing in research. R&D can go a long way to getting a product to market first, and of course, being first to market is essential in a sector like this.

The company has just announced a new hard drive R&D Center in Singapore, partnering with A*STAR Data Storage Institute and universities in the development of advanced hard drive technologies.  The facility is located in Singapore Science Park, near WD's newly acquired media manufacturing operation, and it's now operational. The company also announced that it is entering an agreement with DSI to collaborate on the development of advanced head, media and hard drive system design, which should assist them in being quicker to market with new gear.

WD will have invested S$500 million (approximately $390 million USD) in Singapore over the next five years, including its recent media plant acquisition, capital equipment for capacity expansion and technology enhancements and the HDD R&D Center. Of course, it's hard to tell this early on how large of an impact it'll have, but we doubt the company would be pouring this kind of cash into this kind of deal without a few solid plans in the background.

WD® Establishes Hard Drive R&D Center in Singapore

The Company Partners with Singapore's A*STAR Data Storage Institute; The R&D Center is an Extension of the Company's Worldwide R&D Capabilities

IRVINE, Calif. and SINGAPORE, Feb. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC) announced today that it has established a research and development center in Singapore, where the company will leverage the local talent pool and expertise of research organizations, such as Singapore's A*STAR Data Storage Institute (DSI), and universities in the development of advanced hard drive technologies.  Located in Singapore Science Park, near WD's newly acquired media manufacturing operation, the Western Digital Singapore HDD R&D Center is now operational. The company also announced that it is entering an agreement with DSI to collaborate on the development of advanced head, media and hard drive system design.

The proliferation of content on personal computers, storage devices and social networks is driving demand for higher capacity hard drives and the advanced science and engineering behind them. WD's focus for the new center is the development of future solutions for hard drive recording heads and media, system design and manufacturing processes. An estimated 65 research engineers will be hired within the next three years.

"Singapore has built a wealth of engineering talent, now available to WD," said Tim Leyden, WD chief operating officer. "This is a product of a supportive government, R&D resources from DSI and universities, and a long history of hard drive industry manufacturing and engineering operations in the country. The resulting environment has produced an advanced technology research and human resource culture that makes Singapore an ideal location for WD investments."

"DSI is very pleased to be collaborating with WD. I believe we will be able to add value to one another, further pushing the limits of drive technology and bringing about new and advanced storage solutions to the industry," said Dr. Pantelis Alexopoulos, executive director of DSI.

WD will have invested S$500 million (approximately $390 million USD) in Singapore over the next five years, including its recent media plant acquisition, capital equipment for capacity expansion and technology enhancements and the HDD R&D Center.
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coolice replied on Sat, Feb 26 2011 10:22 AM

Well, with the average consumer hard drive lasting ~5 years, Yea, i'd hope they start making drives that last a tad bit longer. Though I'm assuming that they do this on purpose to stay in business. People will keep on buyin drives regardless.

(PS 5 years is a number pulled of my own experience, its not quoted anywhere, please dont quote me either, you'll look like a food)

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SmogHog replied on Sat, Feb 26 2011 8:21 PM

Too bad they didn't deside to locate this in the US.Jobs!Jobs! Jobs!

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mhenriday replied on Sun, Feb 27 2011 11:01 AM

Presumably - hopefully - the R&D centre was located where the ROI was deemed to be best. Isn't this the way capitalism is supposed to work ?...

Henri

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