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SiliconANGLE Article: China, Blockchain And Chips: Western Digital Looks Beyond Storage

By June 29, 2018No Comments

Executives at Western Digital Corp.have a lot on their minds these days. This week, their attention was focused on new additions to the company’s data center portfolio involving object storage, enhanced all-flash arrays and a new hybrid storage server platform. Last week, the company launched new artificial intelligence-equipped drives for surveillance cameras and released a wireless solid-state drive geared for the travel industry. All in all, it has been a busy month.
Today the company also introduced four new IntelliFlash N Series systems. The Non-Volatile Memory express or NVMe flash arrays are designed for enterprise workloads involving artificial intelligence, machine learning and transactional applications.
What may not be so widely known is the volume of processors that Western Digital is shipping and its plans to transition into a new architecture. At the press event on Wednesday, Martin Fink, Western Digital’s chief technical officer, confirmed previous reports that the company is currently shipping more than 1 billion processor cores inside its products every year. Fink also told the gathering that he expects that number to double in the near future and spoke at length about his company’s planned transition to RISC-V architecture.
RISC-V is not exactly a household name. The instruction set technology is open-sourced and fairly new in development, entering the market only four years ago. But RISC-V offers a simpler design and scalable compute architecture to enable big and fast data. Its foundation has the backing of a number of key players, including Google LLC, IBM Corp., Nvidia Corp. and Qualcomm Technologies Inc., in addition to Western Digital.
 
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