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ROCHESTER, Minn. – November 2, 1998 – Western Digital Corporation (NYSE:WDC) today announced one of the industry’s first low-profile 18.3 GB, 3.5-inch 7,200 RPM Ultra2 SCSI LVD (low-voltage differential) hard drives designed for enterprise computing platforms. The new WD Enterprise hard drive is an extension of the WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI high performance family and includes 8 new models in the 18.3 GB and 9.1 GB capacity points. Evaluation samples have shipped as early as July to major OEM customers. Manufacturing will begin in December, with general availability in January.

"Bringing to market one of the industry’s high capacity low-profile 18.3 GB Ultra2 SCSI hard drives reaffirms our commitment to our enterprise storage customers," said W. Michael Williams, senior vice president and general manager of Western Digital’s Enterprise Storage Group. "The new WD Enterprise hard drives represent our keen understanding of what matters most to enterprise-class customers — performance-rich, time-to-market hard drives with advanced data protection to reliably manage increasingly complex data, provided by a leading and reliable storage supplier."

"In less than two years, Western Digital has secured a 7 percent market share in the traditional enterprise portion of the HDD marketplace," said Crawford Del Prete, vice president of IDC’s Storage Research Program. "The new 18 GB low-profile drive builds on the company’s momentum, and will target the enterprise market sweet spot in 1999."


Advanced Data Protection Assures Data Integrity

To protect mission critical data on enterprise-class systems, Western Digital is committed to minimizing costly system downtime by finding ways to monitor and control the operation of the hard drive. "The advanced data protection features implemented in the WD Enterprise 18.3 GB and 9.1 GB Ultra2 SCSI hard drives enable easier storage management, maximizing data integrity in both read and write operations — an industry-first for Western Digital," said Brian Nass, vice president of marketing for Western Digital’s Enterprise Storage Group.

Focusing on data recovery, failure prediction and failure prevention, these advanced data protection features include enhanced error correction (ECC) which does not detract from the hard drive’s performance, S.M.A.R.T. which notifies the host of changing conditions, and Western Digital’s exclusive Data Lifeguard™ which automatically identifies, isolates and repairs problem areas that may develop over an extended period of time.

Additionally, the thermal monitor evaluates the temperature of the drive, provides pertinent information to the host, and optimizes drive operations to sustain the temperatures at an acceptable level. To provide greater reliability and improved error rates, the patent-pending fly height monitor protects the write operations by detecting when a recording head is flying outside of its normal operating range. Once this has been detected, the hard drive ensures that the information has been written correctly by either rewriting the data or reallocating that data.


Powerful Performance for Intelligent Storage Solutions

Designed for workstation, server and RAID applications, the new generation WD Enterprise hard drives introduce a powerful, performance-driven Ultra2 SCSI design which offers high data availability ideal for intelligent storage solutions in enterprise computing platforms. "In I/O intensive applications where performance is a top priority, the WD Enterprise 18.3 GB hard drive outperforms all current 18 GB Ultra2 7,200 RPM half-height (1.6-inch) drives on the market today and is competitive with the fastest 10K RPM drives now available in production," said Nass.

The WD Enterprise hard drives are used in a variety of applications including e-commerce, AV/video-editing, scientific computing, CAD/CAM, database management, data warehousing/data mining, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) application serving.

To enhance system performance, the new WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives implement advanced I/O features such as adaptive caching, command reordering and Western Digital’s proprietary Command Queuing Engine™ which increases the performance in a queued environment by eliminating firmware intervention. Maximum systems throughput is fueled by an Ultra2 SCSI interface that supports host data transfer rates of up to 80 MB/s and exceptional bus utilization. To protect the customer’s existing technology investment, this Ultra2 SCSI interface allows the drive to automatically switch between Ultra SCSI and Ultra2 SCSI by adapting to the current bus mode (single-ended or LVD) of operation. The drives have an average seek time of 6.9 milliseconds and up to a 246 Mb/s internal data transfer rate.

For audio/video applications, Western Digital offers AV-optimized models which are designed to maintain a sustained data rate of 12 to 20 MB/s to provide seamless data flow. This is achieved by a 4 MB multi-segmented cache buffer, advanced data logging, embedded servo technology, and custom firmware to ensure accurate and timely delivery of data.


WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI Models and Availability

The new WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives extend the Ultra2 product family to include 8 new models consisting of 18.3 GB and 9.1 GB capacity points with either a 68-pin or 80-pin connector and a 2 MB cache. The AV-optimized models are available in both capacities with a 4 MB cache. The products will be certified to run Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Sun Solaris operating systems.

The WD Enterprise Ultra2 SCSI hard drives will be available in January in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific through Western Digital’s distributors. A listing of WD distributors can be found on the company’s web site at where2buy.html.

Western Digital Corporation is a leader in information storage products and services. The company designs and manufactures hard drives for personal and enterprise-wide computing, and markets them to leading systems manufacturers and selected resellers under the Western Digital brand name. Western Digital is the first Fortune 500, multinational company to have been awarded company-wide ISO 9001 registration, linking all WD organizations with a consistent global standard for quality processes. The company was founded in 1970 and has long been noted for its storage and end-market systems-level design knowledge. The company’s home page can be found at

Western Digital Contact
8105 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, California 92618
(949) 932-5000

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