Posts Tagged ‘Western Digital’

Why Western Digital is not Answering on Failed SSD Drives

Western Digital is not answering questions about their failed SSD drives because they don’t know exactly where the problem lies. The three main components for any SSD drive will be the PCB board, the on-board chipset that controls the flow of information between the host PC and the memory and of course, the NAND memory itself. If we break this down a bit more, we might find out what the reason is.

Background (PCB, USB Controller, NAND Memory)

The PCB board

Printed Circuit Boards, or PCBs, play a vital role in modern electronics. They are like the backbone of electronic devices, providing a platform for components to be connected, organized, and powered. Let’s break down their value, design process, testing, and impact on soldered components.

Value of PCBs:
A PCB serves as a foundation for electronic components to work together. It’s like a puzzle board with electrical pathways etched onto it, allowing components like resistors, capacitors, microchips, and more to communicate and function properly. Without PCBs, it would be incredibly difficult and messy to manually connect all these components together.

Designing PCBs:
The process of designing a PCB involves several steps:

Schematic Design:
Engineers create a schematic diagram, which is like a blueprint showing how components are connected. This helps plan the layout of the PCB.

PCB Layout:
Using specialized software, the engineer arranges components on the PCB, considering factors like size, heat dissipation, and signal integrity. This layout involves placing components and drawing the electrical pathways (traces) that connect them.

This step involves deciding the exact paths for the traces to minimize interference and ensure efficient operation. High-speed components may require careful consideration to maintain signal quality.

PCBs often have multiple layers, allowing for more complex designs. Each layer can carry different traces, making the most of the available space.

Once the layout is finalized, components are attached to the PCB using soldering techniques. Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Through-Hole Technology (THT) are commonly used methods.

Testing PCBs:
Testing ensures that the PCB functions as intended and helps catch any errors before mass production. There are a few ways to test PCBs:

Visual Inspection:
Engineers visually check for any obvious issues such as soldering defects or incorrect component placement.

Continuity Testing:
This involves checking if the expected electrical connections exist between components and traces. Multimeters can help with this.

Functional Testing:
PCBs are powered up, and their performance is checked to ensure that all components are working as expected. This can involve running specific test programs or performing specific tasks to evaluate functionality.

Impact on Soldered Components:
Components soldered to a PCB are connected to it through solder joints. These joints are vital for the proper functioning of the device. The quality of soldering affects the overall reliability and performance of the PCB. Poor soldering can lead to bad connections, signal interruptions, and even complete device failure.

PCBs are crucial for modern electronics as they provide a structured platform for components to work together. Their design involves careful planning, layout, and routing of components and traces. Testing ensures proper functionality, and the quality of soldered components directly impacts the overall reliability and performance of the PCB and the device it’s a part of.

USB Controller

Let’s dive into USB controllers and their role in solid-state hard drives (SSDs) and flash drives.

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Western Digital Experiences Security Issues – March 2023

Western Digital, corporate office, Irvine CA

Western Digital, an Irvine CA based company who makes digital storage devices and technology, recently revealed that they experienced a security issue on March 26. An unauthorized person gained access to some of their systems without permission. As a result, Western Digital took many of their servers offline, which caused problems for customers who couldn’t access their data remotely.

As you can guess, everyone is concerned. Joseph Carson, who is a security scientist, said that it’s a reminder of what can happen when attackers gain access to a company’s network. He pointed out that since Western Digital is a cloud storage company with many customers, the impact of the breach is even greater because many consumers and businesses couldn’t access their important data remotely.

Tom Kellermann, a cyber strategy expert, shared similar worries. He called this a significant supply chain attack, which means that it could have a widespread impact on e-commerce. He also mentioned that if this attack was done by a rogue nation state, it could have national security implications that last for months.

On the positive side, Erich Kron, an advocate for security awareness, praised Western Digital for quickly addressing the issue and being transparent about it. He also said that it’s important for organizations to have a plan to deal with network attacks that could lead to ransomware, a type of malicious software that can lock up data until a ransom is paid. Kron mentioned that many of these attacks happen because of human error, so it’s important for employees to be trained and educated about how to spot email phishing attacks and other tricks used by hackers.

Western Digital said that they are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident, and they will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Western Digital experienced a security breach that affected their systems and caused disruption for their customers. Experts are concerned about the impact of this breach and emphasize the importance of organizations having plans in place to deal with network attacks. Western Digital is actively investigating the incident and working with authorities to resolve the issue.

Western Digital is a company that manufactures data storage devices, including flash drives, SSD hard drives, server and IT solutions. Flash drives are small devices that can store and transfer data, such as documents, photos, and videos. Western Digital uses advanced technology to create USB flash drives by integrating memory chips, controllers, and other components into a compact and portable design. The memory chips store data in a way that allows it to be quickly accessed and transferred. The controllers manage the flow of data between the memory chips and the device it’s connected to, ensuring smooth operation. Western Digital follows strict quality control and testing processes to ensure that their flash drives are reliable and durable. Once the flash drives are manufactured, they are packaged and distributed to retailers for sale to consumers and businesses for various data storage needs.

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Possible Kioxia / Western Digital Merger: Who is Kioxia?

Who is Kioxia, building

Kioxia Holdings Corporation, abbreviated as Kioxia and stylized as KIOXIA, is a Japanese-American multinational computer memory manufacturer headquartered in Tokyo. In June 2018, Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from the Toshiba conglomerate. On March 1, 2019, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation and was renamed Kioxia in October 2019

While still a subsidiary of Toshiba, the company was credited with inventing flash memory in the early 1980s. The company is expected to have 18.3% of the global revenue share for NAND flash solid-state drives in the second quarter of 2021. Kioxia Corporation’s parent company is this one.

Fujio Masuoka, an engineer at Kioxia predecessor Toshiba, invented flash memory in 1980, and Masuoka and his colleagues presented their NOR flash invention in 1984.

Toshiba Corporation completed its acquisition of OCZ Storage Solutions in January 2014, renaming it OCZ and making it a Toshiba brand.

Toshiba Memory Corporation was spun off from Toshiba Corporation on June 1, 2018, due to heavy losses incurred by the bankruptcy of former parent company Toshiba’s Westinghouse subsidiary over nuclear power plant construction at Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in 2016. Toshiba retained 40.2% ownership of the new company. Toshiba’s memory businesses were all merged into the new company. On March 1, 2019, Toshiba Memory Corporation became a subsidiary of the newly formed Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation.

Kioxia suffered a power outage at one of its factories in Yokkaichi, Japan, in June 2019, resulting in the loss of at least 6 exabytes of flash memory, with some sources estimating the loss to be as high as 15 exabytes. Western Digital used (and continues to use) Kioxia’s facilities to manufacture its own flash memory chips.

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