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MAXTOR validates cost efficient Perpendicular Recording

Manufacturing capability provides density up to 175Gb per platter at costs comparable to today's Longitudinal media

Maxtor Corporation (NYSE: MXO), a worldwide leader in hard disk drives, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, MMC Technology Inc., has demonstrated its new perpendicular recording medium (PMR) disk manufacturing process, delivering production costs similar to today's longitudinal recording media. MMC showcased a single-pass media production process for perpendicular medium using existing manufacturing equipment, making the transition to the next era of areal density possible at affordable costs.
"The storage requirements customers demand are rapidly increasing and we need new recording technologies to maintain hard disk drive areal density growth trends," said Craig Davis, national sales manager, Maxtor. "By recording data so that it is perpendicular to the read/write head versus current longitudinal recording, more data can be stored in a platter."
MMC is able to leverage the same equipment used to produce today's longitudinal media (LMR) with only an incremental cost of material due to the development of its new thick soft underlayer (SUL) magnetic material structure. This structure reduces the SUL required for efficient writing from 400 nm to as thin as 100 nm, does not require extra sputtering machines and can be produced at the same throughput as LMR. MMC's existing equipment can also accommodate the increased complexity associated with future PMR media that requires additional metallic layers.
"The formula for perpendicular recording success from a disk point of view depends as much on the cost of production as it does on the recording density capability," said Dr. Ken Johnson, vice president of research and development at MMC Technology. "We've made achievements in reducing production costs by using existing capital equipment and in improving media performance through technological innovations."
MMC media is capable of a 175 GByte/platter density using advanced developmental PMR heads. This achievement is a result of decreasing grain sizes from today's LMR grains at 8 nm to an average of 6 nm in diameter. In addition, the MMC team reduced the recording layer-to-SUL spacing, resulting in continued improvements in signal to noise ratio and bit error rates. By fabricating narrow grain size distributions and large negative nucleation fields, MMC's PMR media is magnetically stable exhibiting non-detectable thermal decay.
"This perpendicular media achievement continues the MMC tradition of developing highly efficient and scaleable processes," said Bruce Hachtmann, senior vice president of MMC Technology's manufacturing operation. "MMC was the first media company in the world to transition its factory 100 percent to the 40GB and then to the 80GB design points, and we were also the first to convert all products to CVD carbon several years ago."
About Maxtor Corporation
Maxtor Corporation (www.maxtor.com) is one of the world's leading suppliers of information storage solutions. The company has an expansive line of storage products for desktop computers, high-performance Intel-based servers and consumer electronics. Maxtor has a reputation as a proven market leader built by consistently providing high-quality products, and service and support for its customers. Maxtor and its products can be found at www.maxtor.com or by calling toll-free (800) 2-MAXTOR. Maxtor is traded on the NYSE under the MXO symbol.
About MMC Technology Inc.
MMC Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxtor Corporation, is a leading supplier of media, a critical component in hard disk drives. Based in San Jose, California, the company's manufacturing process offers high utilization, industry-leading yields and low overhead. Purchased by Maxtor in September 2001, MMC plays an integral role in Maxtor's manufacturing strength and provides it with a significant competitive advantage.
Note: Maxtor is a registered trademark of Maxtor Corporation. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners. This announcement relating to Maxtor may contain forward-looking statements concerning the distribution and sale of Maxtor products and Maxtor's execution. These statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could materially affect the company's results, including, but not limited to, market demand for hard disk drives, the successful execution of distribution and sales development programs, the development and implementation of new technologies, the company's ability to execute future production ramps and utilize manufacturing assets efficiently, pricing, competition, and the significant uncertainty of market acceptance of new products. These and other risk factors are contained in documents that the company files with the SEC, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2002 and its recent 10-Qs. Maxtor is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to update or alter, its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.