The solid state storage industry has been in a well-documented slide for the better part of the last year now. With storage product demand from both the client and datacenter businesses down well off of its highs in a notoriously cyclical business, we've already seen the big three memory manufacturers – SK hynix, Samsung, and Micron – significantly cut back on NAND production. And now the repercussions of this downturn are starting to spread to the SSD makers themselves, with Solidigm confirming that they have laid off employees due to the industry downturn.

Responding to an information request from AnandTech, Solidigm, Intel's former SSD business unit that is now controlled by SK hynix, confirmed that the company has recently engaged in layoffs. Terming it a 'modest' reduction in headcount, the company disclosed that it 'executed a modest workforce reduction' on Wednesday, but declined to provide further details.

"Due to the prolonged downturn in the semiconductor industry and its impact on market conditions, Solidigm has executed a workforce reduction," a statement by Solidigm reads. "The company is offering support and severance to colleagues who are departing. We are immensely grateful to our team members who have made meaningful contributions while at Solidigm. They will be greatly missed."

Solidigm is not disclosing their new headcount, though as of September, 2022, the company had more than 2,000 employees in 20 locations around the world. Earlier this year the company closed down its branch in South Korea and hired agencies to handle its sales in the country. It looks like the current announcement also relates to various business, management, marketing, and sales roles.

Solidigm inherited its personnel from Intel's NAND business unit, which the company agreed to sell to SK hynix in October, 2020. Solidigm closed the first stage of the deal in late 2021 and gained control over Intel's NAND and SSD businesses and NAND memory fab in Dalian, China. Under the terms of the agreement with SK hynix, Intel transferred some of its NAND business unit employees to Solidigm to operate as a SSD business.

At this point there has not been a public announcement of the layoffs by Solidigm/SK hynix, so it remains unclear what the full impact to the business will be. SK hynix has just released its Q3'2023 earnings report, where the company reported net losses of 2.185 trillion won (~1.6B USD), and will be holding its quarterly conference call this evening (the morning of the 26th in Korea), at which point we may find out more about the company's plans for their struggling subsidiary. Earlier reports to AnandTech had indicated more significant layoffs had taken place, though 'modest' leaves some room for interpretation.

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  • mode_13h - Friday, October 27, 2023 - link

    Oh, and don't keep them nearly full. The drive's wear-leveling filesystem needs a fair amount of free space to do its thing. So, buy larger than you think you'll need.
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 30, 2023 - link

    That would either need a massive increase in potential market share, or a massive decrease in manufacturing costs per TB. Neither of those are possible anymore. Flash had it's decade of massive growth as it displaced HDDs from primary storage; the only way it could do that again would be if it got an order of magnitude cheaper and was able to displace HDDs from NAS/SAN usage.

    Unfortunately, like every other semiconductor product NAND is running into the limits of physics and only small generational improvements are possible at ever increasing R&D costs.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, October 26, 2023 - link

    The Solidigm P5520 series seems to be a good value for pro users and gamers. It's a PCIe 4.0 TLC drive, but Solidigm claims its tail latencies are some of the lowest in the industry, which should result in a stutter-free gaming experience (which's testing seems to confirm).

    You just need a free 2.5" drive bay and a cable + adapter, or you can use a PCIe caddy (though cooling would probably be better in the 2.5" bay).

    The best prices I've found are at
  • mode_13h - Thursday, October 26, 2023 - link

    Also, I got a SK hynix Gold P31 @ 2 TB for < $100, earlier this year. It's one of the more power-efficient drives out there, for those of us with laptops that only have PCIe 3.0.
    "The Best NVMe SSD for Laptops and Notebooks: SK hynix Gold P31 1TB SSD Reviewed"

    Here's the 2 TB review:
  • ABR - Friday, October 27, 2023 - link

    This is one case where it really paid NOT to try to ride the wave of advancing technology. Seagate just ignored SSDs and sticks with conventional hard drive manufacturing and it continues to print money year after year. Whereas WDC chose to embrace the future and has experienced nothing but trouble and financial struggle ever since.
  • Golgatha777 - Friday, October 27, 2023 - link

    What? Seagate has a whole line of SSD products. Not to mention they were the primary partner with Microsoft to supply SSDs for the XBox Series X/S.
  • ABR - Sunday, October 29, 2023 - link

    Ok they have SSDs but stayed out of NAND, besides their Kioxia investment.
  • erotomania - Friday, October 27, 2023 - link

    BarraCuda SSD -
    FireCuda SSD -
    600 (Pro) SSD -

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