Pricing and availability: The ADM3054 is in full production and is priced at $2.10 (1000 pieces).

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Pricing and availability: The ADM3054 is in full production and is priced at $2.10 (1000 pieces).

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–Hardware manufacturer Western Digital (WD) has overcome a major hurdle on its path to purchasing Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, with the European Union's competition regulator giving the deal a green light, as long as WD manages to sell off its production operations for 3.5-inch disc drives.

WD announced it would acquire Hitachi GST for $4.3 billion back in March, with the board of directors of each company approving the deal which would create the world's largest hard disk drive maker, overtaking rival Seagate Technology and commandeering 50 percent of the market. Seagate currently holds 30 percent.

FM4DZ11P5102MLF_Datasheet PDF

In order to pass through the regulatory obstacles, WD must now look for a buyer to sell its 3.5-inch disc drive business unit and corresponding production plant to.

 The proposed divestiture will ensure that competition in the industry is fully restored before the merger is implemented,” EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

Part of the agreement involves WD transferring or licensing intellectual property rights to the business unit it will be selling, as well as staff and hardware. Once this happens, the EC will remove all obstacles to the deal going through.

FM4DZ11P5102MLF_Datasheet PDF

The Commission is also thought to have taken Seagate’s recent acquisition of Samsung Electronics' hard disk drive business into account, a move which minimized the risk for anti-competitiveness by the WD/Hitachi deal.

Seagate has also emerged rather better from the devastating recent flooding in Thailand which has had a severe impact on hard drive production in general. Seagate’s Thailand plant was left relatively unscathed.

FM4DZ11P5102MLF_Datasheet PDF

WD, however, was particularly hard hit by the flooding, with roughly 60 percent of the firm’s production and 37 thousand employees within the flood zones. The firm has said it expects to see a slump in revenue as a result, predicting just $1.05 billion to $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter, down 50 percent over the $2.6 billion revenue it posted in the third quarter.

LONDON – European chip company STMicroelectronics NV has said it has produced the first wafer on which the die were fully tested wirelessly and without the use of contact probes.

Enderle also believes CES will be a big showcase for the next wave of automotive entertainment products, thanks to Ford’s success with Sync and that Microsoft’s Kinect will see some interesting new applications by third party developers.     

I expect CES will be a showcase for a number of software and hardware offerings that take Kinect to places no one initially thought it could go,” said Enderle.

Meanwhile, smart TVs and E-Book readers are also predicted to make up a significant portion of CES’ exhibits this January. 

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Hewlett-Packard's quarterly profit sank a whopping 91 percent to nearly zero in its latest quarter due to $2.1 billion in costs mainly associated with its decision to jettison its WebOS tablet and smartphone business. Profits for HP's fiscal year were down 19 percent and revenues overall were up one percent.

HP reported revenues at $127.2 billion and profits of $9.7 billion for its fiscal 2011, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). For its most recent quarter revenues were $32.1 billion, down about three percent from the same period last year.

Zoran (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is in the process of being acquired by CSR plc (Cambridge, England) for about $484 million.

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