Flash Data Storage Niche Heats Up

Speeding up data storage in computer rooms has suddenly become the hottest trend in hardware by exploiting a chip technology called flash memory, and spurring a wave of deal-making.

More evidence arrived on Thursday, as International Business Machines Corp. said it would buy closely-held Texas Memory Systems Inc., a pioneer in the field, for undisclosed terms. Other recent deals include EMC Corp.’s purchase of Israeli start-up XtremIO for $430 million, and LSI Inc.’s deal last October to buy SanForce Inc. for $322 million.

Fusion-io, which pioneered one technique for speeding up server systems with flash-memory chips, went public last year …

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