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 MILPITAS, Calif., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Komag Inc. (NASDAQ: KMAG), the world's largest computer hard disk manufacturer, today announced the shipment of its 100 millionth thin-film disk, the first company to reach this milestone.
 "This achievement reflects the completion of the technology transition in the data storage industry from oxide to thin-film media and Komag's emergence as the largest computer hard-disk supplier," said Stephen C. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Komag Inc.
 "Over the last 10 years, we have worked closely with our customers, equipment suppliers and strategic partners to become a key component supplier to the computer industry. The shipment of our 100 millionth disk was made possible through the focused efforts of our employees and vendors who pioneered and advanced high-volume thin-film disk sputtering technology," said Johnson.
 "We founded Komag on the principle that thin films of magnetic material would be required as disk storage densities increased in Winchester disk drives. Oxide-coated disks, the then-prevalent disk technology, could not meet the future storage requirements of the computer industry. In addition, existing plating technologies could not match the manufacturing precision of a 'sputtering' process in creating these desired thin films. The continuous vacuum deposition of extremely thin, uniform layers of metallic film onto a disk substrate by sputtering was the keystone of our start-up 10 years ago," said Dr. Tu Chen, chairman at Komag.
 The industry's first 5.25-inch disk drives used oxide media and ferrite heads which operated at flying heights of 24 microinches (or millionths of an inch). These early disk drives stored five megabytes (mb) of data on two disks. Fourteen years later, Komag's sputtered thin- film disks now support today's most advanced disk drives which include 5.25-inch drives capable of storing 9,100 MB on 14 disks. These disk drives use thin-film heads operating at flying heights of three microinches.
 Komag is currently operating a total of 15 disk production lines in three countries: 10 in the United States, four at its Japanese joint venture, Asahi Komag Co. Ltd., and one at its new facility in Malaysia. The company's worldwide operations are now shipping at a rate in excess of one disk per second, or 1 million disks every 11.5 days. Komag expects production from a second and a third Malaysian production line to commence in the first and fourth quarters of 1994, respectively.
 "Today, over 95 percent of the disks produced in our United States and Malaysian facilities are incorporated into high-performance disk drives capable of storing 500 megabytes or more. According to industry analysts, high-performance disk drives with storage capacities over 500 MB will account for approximately nine percent of the total projected drive shipments in 1993 but will use approximately 30 percent of the industry's disk production. With the advent of data storage- intensive applications such as multimedia and client/server, and high capacity operating systems such as Windows, OS/2, NT and UNIX, industry demand for high performance media should result in continued solid growth," said Johnson.
 Komag is the only independent volume supplier of both thin-film disks and thin-film heads, two performance-enabling components used in today's advanced Winchester disk drives. Winchester disk drives are the primary storage devices used by computers. The company's customers include all major indepedent disk drive manufacturers and Fortune 100 computer companies with internal disk drive manufacturing capabilities. Komag also manufactures and sells rewritable optical media.
 Founded in 1983, Komag and its consolidated subsidiaries maintain 870,000 square feet of manufacturing and administrative space in California and Malaysia, and employ approximately 3,600 people. Komag also manufactures and sells thin-film disk products through an unconsolidated subsidiary, Asahi Komag Co. Ltd., which is among the top three media producers in Japan.
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: David H. Allen, T. Hunt Payne or William L. Potts Jr., all of Komag, 408-946-2300; or Fred Hoar of Miller Communications, 415- 962-9550, for Komag/

CO: Komag Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU:

PK-TM -- SJ005 -- 2001 11/09/93 06:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 9, 1993

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