outfits have been rushing to leave the US, Western Digital has remained loyal. But word on the street is that is all set to change with Western Digital is set to establish an R&D center in Hsinchu, Taiwan, focusing on solid state drives (SSD) and will recruit about 50 technicians from Taiwan.
Western Digital currently has a SSD R&D center at its headquarters in the US with about 200-250 technicians but the R&D centre in Taiwan will be its first overseas R&D base. It will take the outfit a year to recruit for the Taiwan R&D centre which will also handle SSD business for Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) with the related SSD products to appear in the first quarter of 2012. It is not clear why the American outfit has changed its mind but it appears that the idea is to reduce some R&D costs in a bid to drive down the costs of SSDs.
According to Digitimes the outfit is worried that prices for SSDs are too high for it to successfully enter the consumer market. SSDs have about a 10-fold price gap compared to traditional hard drives,. Western Digital believes it is still not an good time for SSDs to fully enter into the consumer market and therefore will focus its R&D on enterprise applications.