Fuji Electric Device Technology plans to start fully integrated production of glass substrate hard disks in mid-2005.
The company already manufactures aluminum substrate hard disks on a fully integrated basis. Its decision to also make glass substrate devices stems from expectations that these small, strong disks will find increasing use in consumer electronics products.
Hard-disk production can be broadly divided into two processes in which the substrate is first shaped and polished and then the magnetic layer that serves as the recording medium is formed on the substrate. Fuji Electric Device conducts both processes for aluminum substrate versions at its factories in Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures as well as its plant in Malaysia.
The firm will begin making glass substrate hard disks in June, but will initially procure the substrates from other sources. To reduce costs and boost profitability, it plans to eventually take on the entire manufacturing process, including preparing the glass substrates. For this operation, it plans to use the lines at its Yamanashi factory that now process aluminum substrates.
Fuji Electric Device has earmarked 5 billion yen in fiscal 2004 to boost its monthly hard-disk production capacity to 5 million units from 3 million currently. Of this total output, 1 million units are expected to be glass substrate devices.