Feb 03, 1999

Data Storage Breakthrough: Seagate Demonstrates World's Highest Disc Drive Areal Density

Seagate Technology (NYSE: SEG) has achieved a world record in disc drive technology, demonstrating areal density of greater than 16 billion bits per square-inch (16 Gbit/in2). This areal density is nearly three times the storage capacity per square inch of any hard disc drive shipping today. This new milestone was achieved using merged read-write giant magneto-resistive (GMR) heads and ultra-smooth alloy media, both of which are designed and manufactured by Seagate. Recording information at an areal density of greater than 16 Gbit/in2 would allow a user to store more than 2,500 copies of Homer's Iliad in the space of a thumb print.

"This outstanding research accomplishment highlights our efforts to extend existing technologies, and is a testament to the strength and expertise of our advanced engineering teams in delivering technology furthering the limits of magnetic recording," said Tom Porter, Seagate executive vice president and chief technical officer. "Seagate's research and development spending has been substantially increased over previous years and redirected toward technology leadership which will fundamentally and ultimately change our time to market position. We plan to further accelerate the pace of scientific achievements as we develop next-generation storage technologies through our Advanced Concepts Labs and new Seagate Research center."

Porter added that Seagate plans to ship disc drives utilizing advanced GMR heads later this year. The GMR reader technology makes possible the sensing of smaller and more tightly packed bits of data on a disc drive platter. This ultimately enables Seagate to increase the amount of information that can be stored in a disc drive. Since Seagate's inception, 20 years ago, disc drives have been the primary storage device used by computers. These storage devices have enabled the proliferation of the PC, networked computing, and the creation of the Internet, giving millions of people around the globe access to the world's information. Seagate introduced the first rigid disc drive designed for use in personal computers, a 5 Mbyte (5 million characters) 5.25-inch form factor model. Today, Seagate continues to provide the world's highest capacity disc drives. The Company is currently delivering a 50 Gbyte drive (50 billion characters) in a 3.5-inch form factor. This represents a 10,000-fold increase in storage capacity since Seagate's first disc drive was introduced.

The Seagate 16.3 Gbit/in2 demonstration was achieved by storing 380,000 bits per inch (380kbpi) along concentric tracks at 43,000 per radial inch (43 ktpi) on a disc's surface. The data bits were recorded onto Seagate produced magnetic thin-film, low-noise, ultra-smooth cobalt alloy media. The head was at a fly height of 15 nanometers - 100th the diameter of a fine silk thread.

Seagate accomplished this demonstration with data transfer rates reaching 214 million bits per second using commercially available, advanced channel technology. This data transfer rate surpasses all previously published findings, which were conducted at lower areal densities. Spin stand test results indicate an error rate of less than one in 10 million. This demonstration passed the same stringent track misregistration constraints set on Seagate high performance disc drives shipping today.

"This achievement reinforces the commitment Seagate has made to being the disc drive industry's technology leader," said Mike Covault, Seagate vice president of recording head research and development. "It demonstrates the ability to extend our spin valve head technology and the potential to sustain high areal density growth rates into the future. This accomplishment is critical to Seagate's ongoing success in developing the next generation of magnetic storage devices."

Seagate Technology, Inc. is a leading provider of technology and products enabling people to store, access, and manage information. The Company is committed to providing best-in-class products to help people get information when, where and how they want it. Seagate is the world's largest manufacturer of disc drives, magnetic discs and read-write heads, an innovator in tape drives, and a leading developer of Enterprise Information Management software. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com. For automated news, stock and financial information by phone, dial toll-free 877-SEG-NYSE. Outside the U.S. and Canada, dial 760-704-4368.

Certain statements in this communication are forward looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such risk factors include, among others, the following: the uncertainties related to the development and introduction of products based upon new technologies, including the technological and economic viability of the GMR technology and related subsystems, manufacturing ramp and customer acceptance; the highly competitive nature of Seagate's industry and the rapid technological change within Seagate's industry; the uncertainty of patent and proprietary technology protection and the risks associated with litigation regarding the patents and other intellectual property rights; the importance of retention and attraction of key technical and other employees; general economic and business conditions; and other factors listed from time to time in Seagate's SEC reports.


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