Nov 12, 1996

Seagate Ships 100 Millionth Disc Drive

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - Seagate Technology, Inc. (NYSE:SEG), the world's largest supplier of disc drives and related components, today announced it has shipped over 100,000,000 disc drives to OEMs, distributors, systems integrators, and end-users worldwide over the past 17 years. Founded in 1979 as a pioneer of micro-Winchester technology, Seagate offered the world's first rigid magnetic disc drive for desktop personal computers--the ST-506--and today maintains its position as an industry leader and supplier of advanced disc drive technology.

"I am very pleased to see the tremendous growth and advancement that both Seagate and the disc drive industry have made," said Alan Shugart, Seagate's president, chairman and CEO. "Back in 1979, our company began with a modest, but eager, group of engineers, production staff, and support personnel who wanted to make a difference in the computer industry. Time and time again, Seagate delivered what was once considered impossible, and the dedication Seagate employees displayed in 1979 is still found throughout our staff of nearly 90,000 today. The marking of Seagate's 100 millionth disc drive is significant for both ourselves and the industry, and I am even more excited to be a part of Seagate's industry leadership into the future."

To commemorate this milestone and its historic significance to the technology industry, Ron Verdoorn, executive vice president and COO of Seagate's Storage Products Group, presented the company's 100 millionth disc drive to the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. The Seagate Medalist 2.5 Gbyte, 3.5-inch disc drive is now on display in the museum along with other technologies and exhibits reflecting advancements that have shaped our Information Age.

"The milestone of any single company producing 100 million drives holds true distinction," said Jim Porter, president of Disk/Trend. "It not only speaks of Seagate's accomplishments, but the growth of the industry as well. The rate of universal acceptance of the small Winchester drive has been astronomical, and the benefits users have gained from the continuing, rapid growth of the industry's sophistication and technology are among the greatest within the entire computer industry."

The shipment of Seagate's 100 millionth disc drive is not the company's first milestone. When Seagate's legacy began with Seagate's ST-506, a 5.0-Mbyte, full-height, 5.25-inch disc drive, competitors often referred to their models as being "Seagate-compatible. The company is also recognized as the developer of the original ST-506 drive interface. Seagate also pioneered the 5,400, 7,200, and 10,000-rpm spindle speeds to bring some of the first drives to market with these faster spin rates. The company has also been a leader in developing new disc drive capacity points, including the industry's first 5.25-inch 9-Gbyte and 23-Gbyte disc drives, and the 3.5-inch 9 Gbyte disc drive.

Today, Seagate maintains its heritage of technological innovation. The company is a leader in bringing Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) technology to disc drives, enabling data transfer over up to 10 kilometers of fibre optic cable at a rate of up to 200 Mbytes/second. Seagate also is recognized for its pioneering efforts to provide disc drives utilizing the UltraSCSI interface and current work to provide the industry with Ultra ATA disc drives.

Seagate customers have benefited from the company's far-reaching experience in designing and implementing hard drive technology as well as developing one of the most advanced disc drive manufacturing organizations in the world. Seagate's vertical integration strategy has enabled the company to become the world's largest manufacturer of thin-film heads and recording media for hard disc drives, as well as a leader in MR heads, integrated circuits, printed circuit board assemblies, and motor development. With Seagate's vertical integration, many of its disc drive components are supplied internally, enabling the company to manage component supply, directly maintain high component quality, and customize component technologies to specific products. With more than 600 engineers and over 5.3 million square feet allocated specifically for disc drive manufacturing, Seagate boasts one of the most impressive design and manufacturing operations in the world.

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.

The Knowledge Gained From Building 100,000,000 Disc Drives

Seagate was founded in 1979. Seventeen years later, the company shipped its 100-millionth drive. The intervening years have seen incredible advances in the technology, performance, and reliability of a disc drive, based on refinements in engineering and manufacturing processes. The technology that created the ST506 was revolutionary in 1979. The following table compares specifications for the state-of-the-art, then and now.




Areal Density
(Mbits/sq. in.)
1.96 682
Total Capacity
(Same form-factor drive)
5 Mbytes 23,400 Mbytes
Average Seek Time
(in milliseconds)
85 8.0
Maximum Data Throughput 0.625 Mbytes/ sec 200 Mbytes/ sec
Spindle Speed (RPM) 3,600 10,000
Average Latency
(in milliseconds)
8.33 4.17
Mean Time Between Failures
11,000 1,000,000
Flying Height of Heads
(in micro-inches)
24 2-3
Cache Size
0 2,048
Drive height
(in millimeters)
143.65 as low as 12.7


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. 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.


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