Storage news ticker – October 25

Reuters has reported that $20 billion merger talks between Kioxia and its joint-venture partner Western Digital have come to a roadblock. Sticking points are differences in how to value Kioxia, securing Japanese government blessing and an uncertain outcome from an internal strategy review at Toshiba Corporation, which owns 40 per cent of Kioxia.

André Rievers.

NAS supplier OpenDrives has appointed André Rievers as its VP of Operations. It raised $20 million in funding in January and has been recruiting since then. Rievers was most recently Head of Post-Production Department for Activision’s Esports division, supporting and overseeing all digital and broadcast content for “Overwatch League,” “Call of Duty League,” “Hearthstone,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Starcraft.” OpenDrives wants to expand into supplying video management software and Rievers looks a good fit to that aim.

Yilan county in NE Taiwan has been struck by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake at about 1.11pm on Sunday October 24. This could interrupt operations at Micron’s two DRAM fabs in the country. Such fabs typically automatically shutdown if an earthquake takes place. Buildings shook in the quake but only minor damage was reported. TSMC evacuated some of its plants.

Bloomberg later reported that Micron experienced some DRAM production impact in Fab 11 (Tao Yuan) from the earthquake. Micron is evaluating the impact and working out how to return to full production.

Research house TrendForce has ranked the top ten SSD module manufacturers, giving Kingston the top position with a 27 per cent market share. ADATA, and Kimtigo occupy the next two spots. TrendForce says that, looking at the channel market for SSDs as a whole, NAND Flash suppliers accounted for around 35 per cent of the total shipments in 2020, while SSD module makers accounted for the other 65 per cent. The top ten module makers accounted for 71 per cent of channel-market SSD shipments from all SSD module makers. 

TrendForce’s ranking of SSD module makers for 2020 only takes account of products bound for the channel market and under brands owned by the module makers themselves; NAND Flash suppliers were excluded from the top ten ranking.

Multi-cloud service provider Scaleway has made its Kosmos managed Kubernetes engine generally available. Developers can attach nodes on any cloud provider or local resource, whether or not other providers offer a managed Kubernetes solution — with a fixed price per cluster of €99 per month, regardless of the number of nodes. Scaleway has already released its Kapsule managed Kubernetes engine and Kosmos enables developers to extend Kapsule beyond the compute infrastructure to any machine — instances from any provider, bare metal products, colocated machines, or their personal infrastructure.

US SSD and memory module supplier Netlist announced the Federal District Court for the Central District of California granted summary judgements in favour of Netlist and against Samsung for material breach of various obligations under a Joint Development and License Agreement (JDLA), which the two executed in November 2015. A summary judgment is a final determination rendered by the judge and has the same force and effect as a final ruling after a jury trial in litigation. The Court held that Netlist properly terminated the JDLA and confirmed that Samsung no longer has a valid license to Netlist’s patent portfolio. The jury is left to decide on direct damages related to the breach of contract during the trial set to commence on November 30, 2021 in the Central District of California.