Apr 29, 1996

Seagate Unveils Advanced Concept Labs

To strengthen its leadership position in the data storage industry, Seagate Technology, Inc., (NYSE:SEG) the world's largest supplier of disc drives and related components, today unveiled its R&D program known as the Seagate Advanced Concepts Labs. This move focuses Seagate's disc drive and component research efforts into three lab groups that will specialize in developing advanced technologies for future data storage products.

The labs provide a comprehensive focus on component-and system-level technology, working together to meet the advanced requirements of future data storage devices. Seagate Advanced Concepts Labs are designed to deliver significant advances in disc drive science relating to magnetic recording heads, magnetic discs, motors, drive electronics and other related technology.

While current disc drive areal density, the amount of data that can be stored on the surface of a recording disc, is approximately 2 Gbits per square inch, Seagate Advanced Concepts Labs are working on technologies to enable areal densities of 10 Gbits per square inch and beyond. Advances like these could result in disc drives holding over a 100 Gigabytes (Gbyte) of information in a common 3.5-inch disc drive form factor by the year 2001. That is equivalent to storing over 1.7 million pictures downloaded from the Internet, or every edition of the Wall Street Journal ever printed plus room for future issues up to the year 2011. The most capacity available in a 3.5-inch drive today is approximately 9.1 Gbyte.

"The Advanced Concepts Labs program is an indication of Seagate's commitment to scientific endeavor and advancing the knowledge of data technology," said Al Shugart, president and CEO of Seagate Technology. "With Seagate's continuing investments in R&D to which we have dedicated over $445 million over the last four quarters alone the company continues to grow its ability to advance storage technology and integrate it into products that improve the way we live and work."

Seagate's Storage Products Group (SPG) is supported by the company's component development activities in advancing disc drive product technology. SPG Advanced Concepts Labs research semiconductor, channel, and motor technologies and do systems-level research based on technological advances created in the company's other Advanced Concepts Labs. SPG Advanced Concepts Labs support desktop disc drive R&D in Longmont, Col., Moorpark, Calif., and Singapore, mobile disc drive R&D in San Jose, Calif., and high-end product R&D in a combined Minneapolis/Oklahoma City lab.

Advanced Concepts Labs in Seagate's Recording Heads Group (RHG) are developing future head components, like Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) heads, that could increase areal density and the amount of data a disc drive can read and write. The team is also exploring aspects of tape head technology, optical recording and hard disc drive technology to achieve storage capacity 100 times greater than what is currently attainable. This group occupies dual facilities in Minnesota and Springtown, Northern Ireland.

A new $33 million facility is currently under construction in Fremont, Calif. which will house the Recording Media Group (RMG) Advanced Concepts Labs. Seagate is currently the largest media supplier worldwide, and the Recording Media Group develops advanced discs, lubricants and production methods that are designed to help Seagate meet the increased performance and volume demands of storage products.

"To support a program like this, a company has to have financial strength, long-term stability, a number of dedicated engineers, and management support," Shugart added. Seagate's leadership in these areas has allowed us to implement a cohesive, far-reaching R&D program at a level commensurate with our position in the technology industry.

"Our strategy for success in the data storage market is grounded in the capability to independently design and manufacture critical drive components that utilize the latest in industry technology," Shugart continued. "We believe our internal capabilities strengthen our ability to compete in a very competitive business."

Since its founding in 1979, Seagate's list of technological milestones includes:

  • The world's highest-capacity disc drive, at 23 Gbytes in a 5.25-inch form factor -- the Elite 23.
  • The world's fastest disc drive, spinning at 10,000 RPM -- the Cheetah.
  • Production of over 2.5 million advanced magnetoresistive (MR) heads every week.
  • The world's first 7,200 RPM disc drive.
  • Seagate's proprietary MINT magnetic recording disc process
  • Approximately 800 patents received for technological achievement
Seagate Technology, Inc. is a leading data technology company providing products for storing, managing and accessing digital information. Seagate develops and manufactures some of the industry's most advanced information technologies, including disc and tape storage devices, magnetic recording heads and media, precision motors, microelectronics, and data access and management software. With $9.0 billion in revenue, operations in 22 countries and over 100,000 employees worldwide, the Scotts Valley, CA-based company is the world's largest manufacturer of disc drives and related components, and one of the globe's largest industrial corporations. Seagate's home page address on the World Wide Web is http://www.seagate.com.

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This press release includes forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, delays and difficulties in research and development activities, technical difficulties, changes in the allocation of resources available for research and development, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations.