Of hens teeth and hard drives

Subject: General Tech | November 4, 2011 - 11:42 AM |
Tagged: hdd, thailand, flooding, western digital, Samsung

According to SemiAccurate both Western Digital and Samsung will cease shipping hard drives to suppliers and retailers because of the devastating flooding in Thailand.  Both companies need to find a new source for head stacks and drive motors and Western Digital will need temporary manufacturing facilities while they wait for the flood waters to recede and repairs to start on their damaged factory.  Expect to see this have large effects on the industry as major suppliers like Dell, Acer, ASUS and HP do not tend to keep large supplies of hard drives lying around in storage which means that only the models with SSDs inside will be able to be manufactured and shipped out.  That reduction in production in turn will effect motherboard, GPU and CPU manufacturers as the demand for their products drop.  While you will not convince the 11,000+ Thai people who have been displaced by the flooding that the fate of Western Digital's factory is the biggest impact of this disaster, for many in the western world it is the only reason they are paying attention to this story.

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"According to sources that we have spoken with in the Taiwanese market both Samsung and Western Digital have decided to suspend shipments of disk drives to PC makers in Taiwan due to a parts shortage."

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Source: SemiAccurate

November 4, 2011 | 12:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Very true in regards to the fact this only seems to be highlighted because it has a knock on effect to those of us who were born into more privileged surroundings. Talk about first world problems.

November 4, 2011 | 12:33 PM - Posted by James (not verified)

Floods happen and floods get cleaned up. Same thing with tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. They happen, people die, then people rebuild.

But on to more technical points, I wonder if the factories can be used again, most of the equipment for making hard drive parts require clean rooms. I do not know if a flooded and muddy clean room can be cleaned again. If Western Digital has to scrap everything in the building, put in new clean rooms and then install machines, it could be a year or more before the first hard drive comes off the lines.

November 4, 2011 | 08:02 PM - Posted by Awake (not verified)

It's amazing how with such a large planet, and 7 billion people, we tend to concentrate resources in small areas so flooding in one region now has a global effect. We saw the same type of problem with global car production after the earthquake in Japan.
An earthquake in China would wipe out Apple computer.

Some of the equipment used in those factories is pretty specialized and not readily available, so it ay be a while before things get back to "normal".

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