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Old 6th October 2004, 10:10   #1
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Default Western Digital Answers Customer Call With Entry Into Fast-growing Mobile Hard Drive

Shipping in Volume, WD Scorpio™ 2.5-inch Hard Drives Deliver Key Customer Requirements: High Reliability, Low Power and Fast Performance


LAKE FOREST, Calif. - Oct. 4, 2004 - Addressing a large and fast-growing segment of the storage industry and demand for notebook-class hard drives from independent, high-volume suppliers, Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today introduced its WD Scorpio™ high-performance, low-power 2.5 inch hard drive for notebooks and other portable digital devices. With its new product, WD is delivering the features and industry-leading specifications that offer the greatest benefits to its customers: high reliability, low power and fast performance.

Currently shipping in volume, WD Scorpio delivers fast 5,400 RPM spin speed and 12 ms seek time, yet operates with power requirements comparable to 4,200 RPM drives yielding lower power consumption for longer battery life and increased long-term reliability.

Applying its proven high quality manufacturing and superior service to new market sectors, WD's entry into the 2.5-inch segment significantly expands its addressable markets by an estimated $4.6 billion a year.

According to research firm TrendFOCUS, 2.5-inch hard drives represent a fast-growing segment of the hard drive market with unit shipments forecasted to grow from 47 million units in 2003 to 60 million units in 2004, and the compound annual growth rate of 2.5-inch hard drives is estimated to be 22.2 percent from 2003 through 2007.

"Western Digital's 2.5-inch entry strategy centers on the highest-volume core of the market," said John Donovan, vice president of research firm TrendFOCUS, an industry analyst firm. "More than 80 percent of 2.5-inch drives sold now and in the near future range in capacity from 40 to 80 gigabytes. WD has consistently proven its ability to deliver the products and support that customers want in high volume markets, making them a very capable contender for the growing 2.5-inch demand."

"WD's entry into the mobile hard drive market is a significant strategic move to increase the company's opportunities for growth," said Arif Shakeel, president and chief operating officer for Western Digital Corp. "Our operating model and manufacturing efficiencies enable us to produce high quality, cost-effective products in high volumes. Existing customers have been asking when WD would enter the mobile market and, with the launch of the WD Scorpio product line, we have delivered what they asked for."

WD Scorpio Exclusive Features

WD's exclusive WhisperDrive™ technology with SoftSeek™ algorithms helps make WD Scorpio the quietest 2.5 inch drive available on the market regardless of spin speed. Leading-edge ShockGuard™ technology combines firmware and hardware advancements to protect the drive mechanics and delicate platter surface to meet the highest combined shock tolerance specifications (250 Gs while in operation, 900 Gs while idle) of any 2.5-inch drive in its class.

Additional shock protection by locking the heads off the disk is provided with DuraStep Ramp™, which uses the most technologically advanced material available on the market to allow the drive to execute a minimum of 600,000 load/unload cycles without contamination. A rigid stainless steel cover withstands greater than 5 pounds of pressure - nearly 1.5 times the industry average -- without pinching the motor hub or other internal components.

WD Scorpio's lower power consumption leads to a cooler running drive, an important factor contributing to increased hard drive reliability. Testing performed by Western Digital's Functional Integrity Testing Lab (FIT Lab™) shows WD Scorpio runs cooler than competitors' drives.

WD Scorpio mobile hard drives are offered in capacities of 40, 60 and 80 GB and feature standard 2 MB cache and optional 8 MB cache; EIDE interface; and a three-year warranty.

A product specification sheet and photos of WD Scorpio mobile drives may be found on the company's Web site at http://www.westerndigital.com/en/pro...p?DriveID=102.

WD Scorpio complements the company's award-winning enterprise and desktop products including WD Raptor™ Serial ATA, the recently announced (large capacity) WD Caviar® RE (RAID Edition) hard drives, the flagship WD Caviar product family and WD Dual-option™ and WD Essential™ external hard drives.

About Western Digital

Western Digital, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company's core business produces reliable, high-performance hard drives that keep users' data close-at-hand and secure from loss.

Western Digital was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading systems manufacturers and selected resellers under the Western Digital brand name. Visit the Investor section of the company's Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

This release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the growth of the 2.5-inch segment of the hard drive market. These forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations, and actual results may differ materially as a result of several factors, including: market demand for hard drives, uncertainties related to the development and introduction of products based on new technologies, difficulties faced in manufacturing ramp, pricing, competition, the significant uncertainty of market acceptance of new products, overall economic conditions and other factors discussed in Western Digital's recent SEC filings. Western Digital undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, whether to reflect information, events or circumstances occurring after the date of the statements or otherwise.

1 Measured in both sound power (dBA) and sound quality/loudness (sones).

http://www.westerndigital.com/en/com...-6C839E5144E8}
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