Seagate 'Gets Vertical' And Demonstrates Record Storage Areal Density And Performance

Nov 12, 2002

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - Seagate Technology today announced that its scientists have broken new ground in the field of magnetic data storage by demonstrating areal densities of over 100 gigabits per square inch (Gb/in2) using perpendicular recording technology. This "vertical" move has also enabled record performance data rates of up to 125 MB per second. As the areal density growth rate of current longitudinal recording begins to slow, perpendicular recording appears best-positioned to keep pace with the world's growing data storage needs, with the potential for far higher density levels over time than what could otherwise be achieved.

"Perpendicular recording is projected to achieve areal densities as high as one terabit per square inch (Tb/in2), roughly 20 times the density of today's state-of-the-art disc drive products," said Dr. Mark Kryder, Seagate senior vice president of Research. "This is equivalent to storing over one full terabyte (1000 gigabytes) of information or nearly 500 DVD movies on a single 3-inch disc."

Perpendicular recording arranges the magnetic bits vertically on end on the surface of the disc, enabling the head to record and read more information per unit area. Perpendicular recording breaks new ground because today's disc drives use traditional longitudinal recording that arranges the bits horizontally on the disc and therefore also require more surface area to store information.

"These demonstrations are evidence of the increasing maturity of the technology, which we intend to utilize in Seagate products in the future," said Mike Covault, vice president of Seagate's Advanced Technology Integration Team. "The shift to perpendicular recording highlights a technology roadmap for magnetic recording to continue to address the needs of an increasingly data-intensive, digital world."

Seagate anticipates implementing perpendicular recording within its products perhaps as early as calendar year 2004.

Technical Details
Using industry-standard test procedures, Seagate has achieved a recording density in Perpendicular Recording of 100 Gbits per sq. inch, at 700 kbpi by 143 ktpi and over 330 Mbits per second. This is the highest areal density reported to date for Perpendicular Recording systems and represents a significant advance in the state of the art over the previous record of 60 Gbpsi.

The demonstration was carried out with a hardware channel under realistic and stringent drive conditions that incorporate full set of adjacent data tracks on multiple heads and media. Moreover, the heads used were fully integrated read/write heads specifically designed both for perpendicular recording and for use at this high track density. The media was double layered perpendicular media.

Seagate's performance demonstration showed perpendicular recording functioning at a record data rate of 125 Mbytes per second with an areal density of nearly 60 Gbits per square inch. This is the highest data rate and areal density combination ever reported for perpendicular recording, advancing the state of the art over the previous record of 125 Mbytes per second at only 13 Gbits per square inch.

These demonstrations were conducted by Seagate's Head Technology Development group and Advanced Concepts Lab in Minnesota, using heads manufactured there and in Seagate's Northern Ireland recording head plant.

Both achievements continue the rapid increase in performance and capacity for perpendicular recording systems over the past 12 months and position Seagate as the leader in this technology. Perpendicular recording will ensure that continued progress in disc drive capacity and performance will be made well into the future.

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives for Enterprise, PC and Consumer Electronics applications. The Company is committed to delivering award-winning products, customer support and reliability, to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include the possibility that Seagate may not be able to continue to develop its products in time to keep pace with technological changes; that Seagate may not be able to maintain or improve upon its market share in the intensely competitive rigid disc drive industry; and other risks that are described from time to time in Seagate's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of the risks or uncertainties materializes or any of the assumptions proves incorrect, Seagate's results could differ materially from Seagate's expectations in these statements. Seagate assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.