Marvell Contributes to Read-Rite's Areal Density Record

Read-Rite Announces Breakthrough in GMR Head Technology Aimed at Applications for the Internet Server Market -- Achieves Areal Density Record Of 26.5 Billion Bits Per Square Inch at Data Rates of 230 - 500 Million Bits Per Second.

Milpitas, California (August 3, 1999) –

Read-Rite Corporation (Nasdaq: RDRT) today announced a significant data storage breakthrough, demonstrating giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads at an areal density of 26.5 billion bits per square inch, or over 38 billion bytes per 3.5 inch platter. High data rates of 230 -- 500 million bits per second, with a read sensitivity as high as 6.5 millivolts per micron were achieved in this world record setting demonstration. The performance of the fully integrated GMR pico read/write heads enable these heads to be designed into high end drives, the mobile market, emerging consumer applications, as well as drives for the desktop market.

"One of the major accomplishments in this demonstration is our ability to achieve this record breaking areal density at very high data rates. The data rates demonstrated here make this technology ideally suited for Internet server applications, where high data rates are necessary," said Dr. Subrata Dey, vice president, advanced technologies. "In addition, we anticipate this innovative design can be extended to 40 billion bits per square inch," he added.

Read-Rite demonstrated over 25 billion bits per square inch with media from HMT Technology Corporation (Nasdaq: HMTT) and Komag, Incorporated (Nasdaq: KMAG) and a trellis-coded noise predictive read channel from Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. The maximum density achieved in the demonstration was 26.5 billion bits per square inch.

"Last fall, we demonstrated an areal density of 13.5 billion bits per square inch, and announced our strategy of advanced development work in conjunction with the independent media and channel suppliers. As a result of that strategy, we have now demonstrated in a disk drive system like environment, high data rates of 230 -- 500 million bits per second, and a maximum areal density of 26.5 billion bits per square inch. We believe our systems level approach to advanced technologies has proven to be immensely successful, as we have demonstrated an unprecedented 100% increase in areal density in just the past year," said Dr. Dey.

"HMT is very pleased with the results of our ongoing collaboration with Read-Rite. This is the fourth world record demonstration where the two companies have collaborated," said Dr. Michael A. Russak, vice president of research and development and chief technical officer of HMT Technology Corporation.

"This attainment demonstrates the value of cooperation between magnetic component suppliers like Komag and Read-Rite. It enables us to jointly design and integrate components up to two years ahead of our customers' needs and thereby accelerate their ability to attain time-to-market leadership products," said Dr. Chris Bajorek, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Komag.

"Marvell is pleased to have contributed to Read-Rite's success in achieving record-breaking areal densities with our 88C4200 PRML read channel product," said Alan Armstrong, vice president of marketing for Marvell's data storage division. "The 88C4200 incorporates our advanced mixed signal DSP (digital signal processing) technology, as well as trellis-coded noise predictive Viterbi detection," he added.

The areal density of 26.5 million bits per square inch was achieved with linear densities of over 504,000 bits per inch and track densities of over 52,600 tracks per inch. The on-track error rate was less than one error in over a billion bits read with over 18% off-track capability. The heads, incorporating the company's innovative sensor and writer structures were manufactured at the company's production facility in Fremont, California, and utilized its advanced pico slider process.

HMT Technology Corporation independently designs, develops, manufactures and markets high-performance thin-film disks. The company's products are used in high-capacity hard disk drives for a variety of high-end applications including personal computers, network servers and workstations, and in certain removable hard disk drive applications. The disks currently being shipped by HMT primarily have coercivity levels of 2100 to 3300 Oersted, a measure of storage capacity, and glide heights of 1.2 to below 0.7 microinches. The company's shares are traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol HMTT. Additional information may be obtained by visiting HMT's web site at

Founded in 1983, Komag, Incorporated has produced over 400 million thin-film disks. The company is well-positioned as the broad-based strategic supplier of choice for the industry's leading disk drive manufacturers. Through its highly automated factories in the United States, Japan and Malaysia, Komag provides high quality, leading-edge disk products at a low overall cost of ownership. These attributes enable Komag to partner with customers in the execution of their time-to-market design and time-to-volume manufacturing strategies. For more information about Komag, visit Komag's Internet home page at

A subsidiary of Marvell Technology Group, Ltd., Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. is a leading developer of proprietary Mixed Signal Processing (MSP) technology for increased information capacity of data storage and data communications products. The company is headquartered at 645 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, Calif., 94086; phone: 408-222-2500, fax: 408-328-0120; world wide web:

Read-Rite Corporation is one of the world's leading independent manufacturers of magnetic recording heads, head gimbal assemblies (HGAs) and head stack assemblies (HSAs) for disk drives and tape drives. The company is headquartered in Milpitas, California and has operations in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore. Read-Rite employs over 15,500 people. The company's home page on the world wide web can be reached at

This news release contains statements which include forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended, and is subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections. These statements include, but are not limited to: that the company anticipates that this innovative design will be extendable to 40 billion bits per square inch; that these heads may be designed into high end drives, the mobile market, emerging consumer applications, as well as drives for the desktop market. The company's actual results for future periods could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking information. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to: the company may not succeed in extending the areal density beyond 26.5 gigabits per square inch; the company may be unsuccessful in design-ins with its customers; and the other factors described in the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 1998 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the first, second and third quarters of Fiscal Year 1999 ended December 27, 1998, March 28, 1999 and June 27, 1999 respectively. Read-Rite undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of such statements.