7/25/2005 - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) (TSE: 4004)(OTC: SHWDF) has started the world's first commercial production of perpendicular-magnetic-recording-technology-based hard disk (HD) media, enabling a dramatic increase in media recording density.
In addition to conventional desktop and notebook PC applications, demand for HD media is growing rapidly for mobile devices, including PDA, and for such consumer electronics applications as DVD recorders and mobile music players. These new applications require much higher storage capacity of HD media for handling sounds and moving pictures. To meet the requirement, SDK has commercialized its perpendicular magnetic recording technology for the first time in the world.
Compared with the conventional technology that stores magnetic data on a horizontal plane of the HD media, the latest technology of SDK enables vertical magnetic recording. This enables a dramatic increase in recording density, at a time when the conventional technology is now reaching its limit of raising recording density.
SDK has started commercial production of 1.89-inch-diameter media for use in mobile music players, having the capacity of 40 gigabytes per disk-double the capacity of conventional products of the same size. While SDK earlier announced that it will increase its HD media production capacity by 3.05 million disks per month, to 13.75 million disks per month, by March 2006, all of the new production lines will be able to use the perpendicular magnetic recording technology.
SDK has also started commercial production of the world's smallest 0.85-inch diameter HD media. Very-small-diameter HD media, including the 0.85-inch type, will soon be installed in cellular phones to enable handling of music and TV programs transmitted via Internet. Thus demand for very-small-diameter HD media is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30%.
SDK is actively investing in its HD media business, classifying it as one of the strategic growth businesses. The company has already secured a leading share in the world's market based on its highest-level product development capability and production technologies.
SDK will continue developing high-performance products with smaller sizes and higher recording density, aiming to strengthen its position as a leader in the fast growing IT markets.
About Showa Denko K.K.
Showa Denko (SDK)(TSE: 4004; OTC: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods) electronic equipment (hard disks for computers), and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers. For further information, please visit the Showa Denko K.K. home page at: www.sdk.co.jp/index_e.htm
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