Story by: Ramya Srinivasan

The California-based Western Digital Corporation (WDC), an innovator in the storage industry, has designed and developed specially-tested products which are certified to automotive industry standards with NAND flash technology. WDC develops and manufactures storage solutions that enable industries to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. Western Digital has 4 sub-brands: G-Technology, HGST, SanDisk, and WD catering to a wide spectrum of sectors. In the overall digital data storage market in the world, automotive is still a small part. Because of the huge transformation in the auto industry, it is more ‘connected’ with the outside world and the need for storage is growing.

Vivek Tyagi, Director, India Business Development, SanDisk Commercial Sales and Support, Western Digital Corporation said, “We are seriously looking at automotive market. We develop storage devices for larger operations. We will continue to develop more products for the automotive sector in the coming years. In a connected environment, data transfer takes place between vehicle and outside world and this data needs to be stored and accessed frequently. That’s how the need for the storage in the car starts. We build flash memory-based products which are bundled with the controller or a processor inside, which provides flash with the ability of read, write and error correction. This software runs on the same controller which is integrated.”

Vivek Tyagi, Director, India Business Development, SanDisk Commercial Sales and Support, Western Digital Corporation.

Vivek Tyagi, Director, India Business Development, SanDisk Commercial Sales and Support, Western Digital Corporation.

“The entire ecosystem around the car is changing. With all the technologies- connected cars, vehicle-vehicle communication, navigation, etc. there is a need to handle more data storage. First, it needs more storage space. Secondly, it requires faster processing capability at the edge (inside the car). There are many applications which the car companies integrate inside the car to provide security solutions to the customer. We are limited to implementing security at the chip level,” he said.

“We are working with all the leading OEMs in the world. In the automotive category, WDC identifies 2 categories of products. First is the removable memory, which would be available in the form of SD cards and second category is embedded flash memory, which is onboarded on to the system. Many companies build embedded electronics system for cars. One level of storage comes in the form of a chip or semi-conductor storage device that integrates the processor inside the system. Its features include security built-in, health monitoring of device etc. The second level of storage which is removable storage like SD card or micro SD card, are designed for different standards and different levels of intelligence where one can write and erase data several thousand times,” Tyagi said.

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In many countries a new application has started where they install ‘dashcams’, a high-resolution video camera fitted in the dashboard, facing the road. These cameras record videos all the time and in case of any accidents or disputes, they can watch the video and take a compensation decision accordingly. It makes the whole legal process so simple. To record videos constantly for several hours, dashcams require large storage in the camera. That’s where SanDisk or SanDisk equivalent SD cards comes into the picture. This is a completely new emerging application.

“Our customers are using larger and larger operating systems from which we learn. The size of the operating system including boot code, security and many capabilities are growing. The basic flash memory to store the operating system needs to be larger and secured. Car manufactures, and their system providers are keen on implementing some level of artificial intelligence to analyse the data on a real-time basis. For navigation, they like to implement 3D maps which provide more accuracy of distance but also consume more data than 2D maps. This requires a large storage and hence there is a need for larger flash,” Tyagi said.

Western Digital’s portfolio ranges across its 4 sub-brands – HGST, G-Technology, SanDisk and WD. HGST helps the world harness the power of data. It provides smarter storage solutions that power the markets and companies that shape lives—enabling possibilities for the cloud, enterprise and sophisticated infrastructure everywhere. HGST was known for their hard drives for data centre space and they had niche hard drives for automotive. HGST provided shock and vibration proof, niche hard drives for some unique automotive.

SanDisk offers trusted and innovative flash storage products. Apart from automotive, SanDisk’s quality, state-of-the-art solutions are at the heart of many of the world’s largest data centres, and embedded in advanced smartphones, tablets and PCs.

G-Technology’s roots are deeply ingrained in delivering premium storage solutions for audio/video production, photography and the professional content creation market. From storing, transferring, editing and distributing content, G-Technology makes the workflow simpler, better and faster. G-Technology’s high-performance portable and desktop drives, flexible transfer/edit solutions and fast RAID systems are built for professional content creation environments where performance and reliability are paramount. Because G-Technology holds itself to the highest standards, its products can be found in premier post-production facilities worldwide.

The company provides a broad portfolio of offerings that enables data to thrive. From advanced data centres to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data. The company addresses the rapidly changing landscape of the storage market through a broad range of storage technologies, product portfolios and a global reach to the industry.

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