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August 10, 1987

SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN THIN-FILM HEADS GIVES SIEMENS EDGE IN 5.25″ DRIVES

By CBR Staff Writer

Siemens is not the first name most people would think of in connection with high-capacity 5.25 Winchesters, but Siemens Information Systems Inc, one of the few European companies to make it big in America, says its Memory Products division, based in Westlake Village, California, has shipped its 10,000th MegaFile 5.25 disk drive, nearly two years after it became the first 300+ Mb drive to enter high volume production. Siemens claims it’s the market leader in 300+ drives and says that while competitors have trouble solving design and product problems, not to mention getting hold of recording heads, it is able to ramp up production because it manufactures its own thin-film heads. After 15 years of research and development in the head technology field, Siemens says it is now in a position to produce thin-film heads for all its disk drive models. Recording head development and production is to play a continuing role in the company’s strategy. The current 310Mb MegaFile has an areal density of around 23M-bits per square inch that Siemens says is higher than that of other drives in the 300Mb to 400Mb range. Memory Products now produces longitudinal recording heads for areal densities between 40M-bits and 50M-bits per square inch which are the same types of heads used in 700Mb to 800Mb 5.25 drives. Siemens also notes that it has made a considerable investment in its peripherals plant in Munich, West Germany, which it claims is considered to be one of the finest in the manufacture of high-performance 5.25 Winchesters. Next year, Siemens AG’s disk drive operation is moving from its present 500,000 square foot site, to a 1m square foot plant several miles away.

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