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Toshiba Corp., one of the world’s largest maker of NAND flash memory, is reportedly interested in taking over consumer solid-state drive business from OCZ Technology Group, a leading SSD manufacturer who has been facing various troubles in the recent year. While Toshiba has abilities to buy an OCZ business unit and the latter may actually be interested in such a transaction, everything may not be that obvious.

While Toshiba is a leading maker of hard disk drives and is among the largest makers of NAND flash memory in the world, it is not a major player on the market of solid-state drives since historically it did not want to compete with its long-term partner, SanDisk Corp., with whom it co-owns fabs. Nonetheless, in order to be competitive on the market of storage, Toshiba needs its own SSDs with its own controllers and it needs them to be very competitive. As a result, any acquisition in the field is a logical one for Toshiba.

Although OCZ has been very well known among consumers and in the recent years among enterprises as a leading supplier of DRAM modules and then SSDs for both business and consumer applications, the company does not have its own flash fabs and in the recent year faced difficulties with both financials and getting enough memory. For OCZ, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of consumer SSD business and focus on enterprise solid-state storage solutions.

According to a rumour reported by TweakTown web-site, Toshiba is looking forward to buy OCZ’s consumer SSD business unit in order to strengthen its positions on the market of client SSDs. The move seems to make sense for both, provided that Toshiba gets SSD controller technologies from OCZ, whereas the latter signs a long-term NAND supply contract and will focus on enterprise storage.

While the transaction may look like favorable for both companies, it should be kept in mind that OCZ is developing its Indilinx Bigfoot controllers and platforms not only for consumer, but for enterprise SSDs as well. Without proper development team (provided that the current one will joint Toshiba), OCZ will be unable to differentiate itself on the market it wants to focus on, which means the end for the company. For Toshiba, not getting enterprise-class SSD technologies to the house seems to be illogical, considering that the company makes such solid-state drives.

OCZ and Toshiba did not comment on the news-story. Last year a rumour emerged that Seagate was planning to acquire OCZ, but the deal has never been signed.

Tags: Toshiba, OCZ, Business, SSD, NAND, Flash, MLC, 19nm, 20nm, Indilinx, Bigfoot


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