HGST, Inc. (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) was a manufacturer of hard disk drives, solid-state drives, and external storage products and services.

HGST, Inc.
IndustryComputer storage devices
PredecessorIBM's hard drive business
Founded2003; 21 years ago (2003)
Defunct2018; 6 years ago (2018)
FateAcquired by Western Digital in 2012; brand phased out in 2018
Area served
Key people
Mike Cordano (President)
ProductsHard disk drives
solid-state drives
external storage devices
Number of employees
HGST's Fujisawa plant, expanded from IBM's Fujisawa plant

It was initially a subsidiary of Hitachi, formed through its acquisition of IBM's disk drive business. It was acquired by Western Digital in 2012. However, until October 2015, it was required to operate autonomously from the remainder of the company due to conditions imposed by Chinese regulators. Chinese regulators later permitted Western Digital to begin wider integration of HGST into its main business. By 2018, the HGST brand had been phased out, with its remaining products now marketed under the Western Digital name.

History edit

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies was founded on January 6, 2003, as a merger of the hard disk drive businesses of IBM and Hitachi.[1] Hitachi paid IBM US$2.05 billion for its HDD business.[2][3]

On March 8, 2012, Western Digital (WD) acquired Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of WD common stock valued at approximately $900 million. The deal resulted in Hitachi, Ltd. owning approximately 10 percent of WD shares outstanding, and reserving the right to designate two individuals to the board of directors of WD. Citing antitrust concerns, China's Ministry of Commerce required HGST to operate autonomously from Western Digital, restricting outright integration between the companies' operations. As a result, HGST continued to operate independently with its own product lines and product development.[4][5]

As part of the deal, Western Digital agreed to trade assets with Toshiba, with Toshiba receiving assets for the production of 3.5-inch hard drives (1, 2 and 3-platter drives produced in Shenzhen, China), in exchange for a Toshiba factory in Thailand for producing 2.5-inch drives (which had been inactive since the 2011 floods).[6]

In November 2013, HGST announced a 6 TB capacity drive filled with helium.[7] In September 2014, the company announced a 10 TB helium drive, which uses shingled magnetic recording to improve density.[8]

In October 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce issued a decision allowing Western Digital to begin integrating HGST into its main business. WD was required to maintain the HGST brand and sale team for at least two more years.[9] Since then, first WD-branded products left HGST's plant at 304 Industrial Park in Prachinburi Province, Thailand; in reverse, certain HGST-branded products became produced at Western Digital's plants in Bang Pa-in District, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand and Penang, Malaysia. In 2018, Western Digital announced that it was phasing out its HGST brand and that all of its remaining product lines (particularly Ultrastar) will henceforth be marketed as brands of Western Digital.[10][11]

Products edit

Hard drives and solid-state drives edit

Ultrastar HUA723020ALA640
  • Ultrastar – Enterprise-class line of 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch HDDs with SCSI, Fibre Channel, SAS, and SATA interfaces; and a line of 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch Fibre Channel, SAS and PCIe NVMe SSDs. Now marketed under Western Digital brand.
  • Deskstar – Desktop-class line in 3.5-inch form factor with SATA interfaces. Phased out after discontinuation of HGST brand. Western Digital-branded successors are 3.5-inch variants of WD Blue and Black HDDs, and for Deskstar NAS drives also WD Red.
  • Travelstar – Mobile-class line in 2.5-inch form factor with SATA interfaces. Phased out after discontinuation of HGST brand. Western Digital-branded successors are 2.5-inch variants of WD Blue and Black HDDs.
  • Endurastar – Ruggedized line in 2.5-inch form factor with PATA or SATA interfaces, primarily for automotive applications. Phased out after discontinuation of HGST brand.
  • CinemaStar – 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factors, optimized for consumer electronics applications requiring quiet operation and AV streaming commands support. Phased out after discontinuation of HGST brand. Western Digital-branded successors are WD Purple and AV.

External storage edit

  • LifeStudio products, announced in 2010 but now discontinued, were external hard drives that combine photo organization software, a 3D Wall for displaying content, a connected USB Flash key.[12]
  • G-Technology external storage products, acquired in 2009,[13] are sold to Apple Macintosh communities, including users of multimedia content such as Final Cut Pro digital audio/video production professionals. Now rebranded as SanDisk Professional.[14][15][16]
  • Touro family of cloud storage backup products.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Hitachi Establishes "Hitachi Global Storage Technologies," Taking A Bold New Step for Storage Innovation" (Press release). Hitachi. January 6, 2003.
  2. ^ Hitachi buys IBM disk drive business, June 6, 2002 Archived March 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Hitachi and IBM Complete Hard Disk Drive Agreement" (Press release). IBM. December 31, 2002.
  4. ^ Sayer, Peter (2018-11-30). "Inside Western Digital's massive cloud ERP migration". CIO. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  5. ^ Byford, Sam (March 9, 2012). "Western Digital completes $4.8b Hitachi GST buyout, becomes world's largest HDD manufacturer". The Verge.
  6. ^ Hollister, Sean (2012-02-28). "Western Digital and Toshiba trade hard drive tech, clearing the way for WD / Hitachi merger". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  7. ^ Mellor, Chris (November 4, 2013). "Helium-Filled disks lift off: You can't keep these 6TB beasts down". The Register. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Gasior, Geoff (September 9, 2013). "Shingled platters breathe helium inside HGST's 10TB hard drive". The Tech Report. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "China finally says yes to WD-HGST union". The Register. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  10. ^ Hagedoorn, Hilbert (19 March 2018). "Western Digital moves away from the HGST branding". Guru3D.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  11. ^ Sharp, Lenny (2018-03-15). "Western Digital Unveils New Addition: 8TB Ultrastar® DC HC320". Western Digital Corporate Blog. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  12. ^ Dong Ngo (July 7, 2010). "Hitachi unveils LifeStudio storage solutions". CNet news blog. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  13. ^ "Hitachi GST Completes Acquisition of Fabrik, Inc. — Company Sets Stage for Continued Global Expansion" (PDF). News release. April 6, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  14. ^ "Introducing SanDisk Professional | Western Digital". SanDisk Professional. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  15. ^ Wyndham, Simon. "G-Technology has been rebranded as SanDisk Professional". www.redsharknews.com. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  16. ^ Schneider, Jaron (7 October 2021). "SanDisk Professional G-Drives: New Name, Better Performance". PetaPixel. Retrieved 6 April 2022.