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Western Digital Remains Optimistic about NAND

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Western Digital competes with giants in NAND flash memory

At the end of 3Q17, Statista estimated Western Digital (WDC) to have a 17.5% share in the NAND (negative AND) Flash memory market. WDC competes with tech giants including Samsung (SSNLF), Toshiba, Micron (MU), Intel (INTC), and Korea’s (EWY) SK Hynix in this space. These companies have shares of 37.2%, 17.5%, 12.9%, 6.6%, and 9.9%, respectively, at the end of 3Q17. SanDisk/WDC’s share in this market has risen from 15.4% in 3Q15 to 17.1% in 3Q16.

WDC acquired SanDisk in 2016 to gain traction in the NAND market. While Samsung continues to lead the NAND space, WDC is confident that its JV (joint venture) with Toshiba will allow it to compete with other players. Toshiba’s JV with WDC has made the latter the leader in 3D NAND.

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Targeting the 3D NAND space

Analysts had initially expected Samsung to lead the NAND flash memory market and leave other players way behind. While Samsung is currently the market leader in 3D NAND driven by technology leadership, WDC is fast gaining traction. WDC claims to have the highest number of bits with respect to the latest 64-layer technology compared to peers.

The JV with Toshiba after the sale of its chip business to a consortium led by Bain Capital states that the former will supply advanced chips to WDC that will be manufactured in Toshiba’s new plant. Western Digital will also invest in this plant and get an extension on the existing JV between the two firms.

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