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Friday, January 13, 2006
Fujitsu Says to Start Making 1.8-inch Hard Drives

Japanese electronics conglomerate Fujitsu said on Friday it would enter the 1.8-inch hard disk drive market and aim to become one of the world's top three makers of hard drives by the business year through March 2009.

In the mobile PC HDD market, Fujitsu will offer high-capacity 200GB products in fiscal 2006 to meet rapid growth in demand for audio visual-oriented PCs. In addition, the company plans to introduce 7,200 rpm HDDs for high-end PCs, as well as HDDs incorporating perpendicular magnetic recording technology during the same fiscal year. It also plans to introduce models capable of withstanding heat and cold for automotive and other non-PC applications. With this expanded product lineup, Fujitsu aims to capture 30% of this global market segment.

In addition to its flagship 3.5-inch HDDs for enterprise servers, Fujitsu will also pursue further performance gains in 2.5-inch form factor HDDs, reflecting the trend to downsizing. For interfaces, the company will concentrate on the serial-attached SCSI (SAS) interface. In fiscal 2006, it plans to offer high-speed, high-capacity 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch models running at 10,000 rpm with 147GB capacity and 15,000rpm with 300GB capacity, respectively, for use in enterprise systems that require both high performance and high reliability. Fujitsu likewise aims to win a 30% share of this global market segment.

Fujitsu will also enter the market for small form factor 1.8-inch HDDs for application in portable music players, video cameras, and ultra-portable notebooks. To accelerate development in this new sector, Fujitsu will jointly develop products with Cornice Inc., and is planning to introduce a 120GB model in the first half of fiscal 2007.

Fujitsu, which currently makes 3.5-inch drives used in servers and the 2.5-inch variety for notebook computers, was the world's fifth-largest hard drive maker in 2004 with 8.4 percent of the $22.9 billion market, according to research firm Gartner.

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