Oct 22, 1996

Seagate Now Producing Over One Million MR Heads Per Week

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - Seagate Technology Inc , the world's largest supplier of hard disc drives and magnetic recording heads, today announced it has reached a major milestone in the company's drive for technology leadership in the data storage industry. Seagate is now producing over one million magneto-resistive (MR) heads per week, and expects to reach two million heads per week by the end of 1996.

"This achievement reflects the success Seagate has experienced in implementing MR technology throughout our recording head operations worldwide," said Dr. Brendan Hegarty, executive vice president and COO, Seagate Recording Heads Group (RHG). "The ever-increasing demand for advanced technology heads for our internal disc drive needs and external customers has fueled the expansion of our production and R&D operations."

Seagate produces MR wafers at fabrication facilities in Minnesota and Northern Ireland, MR sliders in Malaysia and MR head gimbal assemblies (HGAs) in Thailand. "Our state-of-the-art facilities have been designed and configured to meet the critical demand for MR technology as it advances into the 21st century," Hegarty added. "The sun never sets on Seagate's production of MR heads."

Seagate RHG has over 34,000 employees involved in the development and production of both thin-film MR and thin-film inductive magnetic recording heads at its nine facilities worldwide. These heads are the sophisticated component on a disc or tape drive that read and write the billions of bits of digital data that users turn into information like written documents, spreadsheets, Internet graphics, video and pictures.

Based in Normandale, Minn., Seagate RHG has expanded its worldwide facilities by one million square feet during the past year, and its operations in Minnesota, California, Northern Ireland, Malaysia and Thailand now occupy over 2.6 million total square feet. As the world's highest volume supplier of recording heads, Seagate has produced over 600 million units to date with a current run rate of over 250 million units per year.

"Seagate is now supplying over 40 percent of the world market for thin-film heads, and MR heads make up nearly 25 percent of that total," said Pat Bonnie, senior vice president, Seagate RHG. "MR technology is recognized as the recording head that will carry the data storage industry into the next century. Seagate continues to demonstrate its leadership as a manufacturer of advanced inductive and MR heads."

Today's announcement also reflects Seagate's continued transition from inductive to MR head technology in its disc drive products. Seven recently introduced Seagate disc drive models are in volume production with MR heads, and six additional models utilizing MR heads are currently in pilot production.

MR head technologies manufactured by Seagate RHG include SAL (Soft Adjacent Layer) and DSMR (Dual Stripe Magneto-Resistive) heads. The company is currently developing giant magneto-resistive (GMR) spin-valve head technology, which represents an evolutionary advancement in MR heads. Seagate is also a leading supplier of proximity thin-film heads. Proximity heads are extending the life of inductive technology, enabling disc drive manufacturers to achieve greater areal densities than previously thought possible with inductive heads.

"We continue to develop future head technologies while aggressively ramping our current products to meet the demands of our internal and external customers," added Bonnie. "Seagate RHG is a key piece of the company's vertical integration strategy and Seagate is committed to pursuing a leadership position in advanced recording technology such as MR heads."

Seagate Technology, Inc. is a data technology company that provides products for storing, managing and accessing digital information on the world's computer and data communications systems. Seagate is the largest independent disc drive and related components company in the world. Seagate's home page address on the World Wide Web is http://www.seagate.com.

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