western digital logoWestern Digital is looking to close its hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya, near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, blaming lack of demand for the gear.

Demand for hard disks has actually grown but SSD sales are growing faster. Hard disks are good idea for backups for SSD drives which are almost impossible to recover from im case of fault.

Many do not realize that internally a SSD actually encrypts data. This is standard to prevent removal of chips and attempting to copy files.

WD started its operations in Malaysia in 1973, initially making custom semiconductors. It transformed the assembly lines in 1994 to make hard drives, and employed some 13,000 people after that. A $1.2bn R&D facility was added in 2011.

WD has a joint venture deal with Toshiba and they intend to sell SSD dives into markets where hard disks are experiencing falling demand. WD has not yet mentioned where they intend to build a new SSD factory but they are continuing to operate in Malaysia.

Most laptop machines today have a 1TB hard disk which seems to be the most widely manufactured capacity disk.  Low cost USB disks are mostly 2TB and above to handle general backups.

Desktop machines tend to use a M.2 SSD while hard disks are used for media libraries etc. The market for consumer hard disks is far from dead as the prices are far better per TB.