Western Digital is shutting down a major hard drive factory to focus on SSDs

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Western Digital, a major player in the storage market, is erasing one of its three mechanical hard drive factories from existence, The Register reports.

The 1 million square-foot factory is located in Petaling Jaya, near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. It's the second-largest of WD's three HDD factories—the company also operates a 1.7 million square-foot plant and a 730,000 square-foot facility, both in Thailand.

"The data technology industry is undergoing substantial change. This market transformation is driving increased adoption of SSDs and NAND flash in traditional HDD applications. The change has contributed to growth in SSD/NAND flash and declining long-term demand for client HDDs," WD told The Register.

We've seen SSD pricing come down considerably over the past year or so. While HDDs still offer far more storage space per dollar, SSDs are competitive enough that clients big and small can afford to make the transition to the faster storage option. Larger operations also stand to benefit from the reduced power consumption.

This is not the first time that WD has decommissioned an HDD factory. Just two years ago, it closed down a plant that was operated by HGST, a wholly-owned subsidiary that it acquired in 2012.

Meanwhile, WD says it's in the final stages of commissioning its second SSD facility in Penang, and expects it to start producing SSDs in the coming months.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).