Western Digital was founded in 1970 by Motorola employee Alvin B. Phillips as General Digital. In 1971, the name Western Digital was adopted and the WD1402A was released.
The company 0riginally produced microchips for calculators. By 1975, they were the largest calculator microchip producer in the world.
In 1976, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy after their largest customer went out of business.
The company recovered by switching from calculators to hard drives. In 1983, they won a contract with IBM to produce all their hard drive controllers.
In 1991, the hard drive controller market began to slow as ATA and SCSI became standards. WD released their Caviar hard drive line this year. The Caviar drives sold so well that the company began to shut down other divisions to focus solely on hard drive production.
In 2009, the company entered the solid state hard drive sector.
Today, Western Digital is one of the world’s largest hard disk drive manufacturers.