Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology

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Seagate Technology is one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard disk drives. Incorporated in 1978 as Shugart Technology, Seagate is currently incorporated in Dublin, Ireland and has its principal executive offices in Scotts Valley
Scotts Valley, California
Scotts Valley is a small city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States, about thirty miles south of downtown San Jose and six miles north of Monterey Bay, in the upland slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,580...

, California, United States.

1970s


On November 1, 1979 Seagate Technology (then called Shugart Technology) was incorporated by co-founders Al Shugart
Alan Shugart
Alan Field Shugart was an American engineer, entrepreneur and business executive whose career defined the modern computer disk drive industry.-Life:...

, Tom Mitchell, Doug Mahon, Finis Conner and Syed Iftikar
Syed Iftikar
Syed Iftikar founded the SyQuest Technology company in 1982. He had worked at Seagate previous to founding SyQuest.-References:...

. The name was soon changed to Seagate Technology to avoid confusion with Xerox's subsidiary Shugart Associates
Shugart Associates
Shugart Associates was a computer peripheral manufacturer that dominated the floppy disk drive market in the late 1970s and is famous for introducing the 5¼-inch minifloppy disk drive....

 (also founded by Shugart).

1980s



Their first product (released in 1980) was the 5-megabyte ST-506
ST-506
The ST-506 was the first 5.25 inch hard disk drive. Introduced in 1980 by Seagate Technology , it stored up to 5 megabytes after formatting and cost $1500. The similar 10 MB ST-412 was introduced in late 1981. Both used MFM encoding...

, the first hard disk to fit the 5.25-inch form factor of the Shugart "mini-floppy" drive. The hard disk, which used a Modified Frequency Modulation
Modified Frequency Modulation
Modified Frequency Modulation, commonly MFM, is a line coding scheme used to encode the actual data-bits on most floppy disk formats, hardware examples include Amiga, most CP/M machines as well as IBM PC compatibles. Early hard disk drives also used this coding.MFM is a modification to the original...

 (MFM) interface, was a hit, and was later released in a 10-megabyte version, the ST-412 with which Seagate secured a contract as a major OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer
An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a...

 supplier for the IBM XT, IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

's first personal computer to contain a hard disk. The large volumes of units sold to IBM, the then-dominant supplier of PCs, fueled Seagate's early growth.

In 1983, Al Shugart was replaced as president by then chief operating officer, Tom Mitchell. Shugart continued to oversee corporate planning.

Finis Conner left Seagate in early 1985 and founded Conner Peripherals
Conner Peripherals
Conner Peripherals was a company that manufactured hard drives for personal computers. Conner Peripherals was founded in 1985 by Seagate Technology co-founder Finis Conner but it in itself never produced a product. In 1986 Conner Peripherals merged with CoData, started by MiniScribe founders Terry...

, which originally specialized in small-form-factor drives for portable computers. Conner Peripherals also entered the tape drive business with its purchase of Archive Corporation. After ten years as an independent company, Conner Peripherals was acquired by Seagate in a 1996 merger.

In 1989, facing increased competition and margin pressure, Seagate acquired Control Data
Control Data Corporation
Control Data Corporation was a supercomputer firm. For most of the 1960s, it built the fastest computers in the world by far, only losing that crown in the 1970s after Seymour Cray left the company to found Cray Research, Inc....

's MPI/Imprimis (CDC) disk storage division. This acquisition gave Seagate access to CDC's voice-coil and disk-manufacturing patents. As well, the purchase provided access to a high-end server customer base and the first 5,400 RPM drives on the market (the CDC Elite series).

1990s


  • September 1991 - Tom Mitchell resigned under pressure from the board of directors. Al Shugart reassumed presidency of the company.
  • November 1991 - Seagate introduced the Barracuda
    Seagate Barracuda
    Seagate Barracuda is a hard disk drive series, most of which operate at a spindle speed of 7200 RPM. They are produced by Seagate Technology. Although initially they were marketed as high-performance drives with SCSI interfaces and high capacities for their time, since about 2001, they have become...

     hard drives, the industry's first hard disk with a 7200 RPM spindle speed.
  • May 1993 - Seagate was the first to ship 50 million hard drives.
  • February 1996 - Merges with Conner Peripherals
    Conner Peripherals
    Conner Peripherals was a company that manufactured hard drives for personal computers. Conner Peripherals was founded in 1985 by Seagate Technology co-founder Finis Conner but it in itself never produced a product. In 1986 Conner Peripherals merged with CoData, started by MiniScribe founders Terry...

     to form world's largest independent hard-drive manufacturer.
  • October 1996 - Seagate introduced the industry's first hard disk with a 10,000-RPM spindle speed.
  • May 1997 - The High Court of Justice
    High Court of Justice
    The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

     in England awarded Amstrad
    Amstrad
    Amstrad is a British electronics company, now wholly owned by BSkyB. As of 2006, Amstrad's main business is manufacturing Sky Digital interactive boxes....

     PLC $93 million in a lawsuit over reportedly faulty disk drives Seagate sold to Amstrad, a British manufacturer and marketer of personal computers.
  • October 1997 - Seagate introduced the first Fibre Channel
    Fibre Channel
    Fibre Channel, or FC, is a gigabit-speed network technology primarily used for storage networking. Fibre Channel is standardized in the T11 Technical Committee of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards , an American National Standards Institute –accredited standards...

     interface hard drive.
  • March 1998 - Seagate produced its 1 billionth magnetic recording head
    Recording head
    A recording head is the physical interface between a recording apparatus and a moving recording medium. Recording heads are generally classified according to the physical principle that allows them to impress their data upon their medium...

    .
  • July 1998 - Shugart resigned his positions with Seagate.
  • August 1998 - Seagate Research is established in Pittsburgh.
  • April 1999 - Seagate ships its 250 millionth hard drive.

2000s


  • 2000 - Seagate incorporated
    Incorporation (business)
    Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

     in Grand Cayman
    Grand Cayman
    Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands and the location of the nation's capital, George Town. In relation to the other two Cayman Islands, it is approximately 75 miles southwest of Little Cayman and 90 miles southwest of Cayman Brac.-Geography:Grand Cayman encompasses 76% of...

    .
  • February 2000 - Seagate introduced the first 15,000-RPM hard drive.
  • October 2001 - Microsoft Xbox
    Xbox
    The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

     game console shipped with Seagate hard drives.
  • December 2002 - Seagate re-entered the public market
    Public company
    This is not the same as a Government-owned corporation.A public company or publicly traded company is a limited liability company that offers its securities for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or through market makers operating in over the counter markets...

     (NYSE: STX).
  • June 2003 - Seagate re-entered the hard drive market for notebook computers
    Laptop
    A laptop, also called a notebook, is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device and speakers into a single unit...

    .
  • March 2005 - Seagate shipped its 10 millionth 15,000-RPM hard drive.
  • September 2005 - Seagate acquired Mirra, Inc.
  • November 2005 - Seagate acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs.
  • January 2006 - Seagate named 2006 "Company of the Year" by Forbes Magazine.
  • April 2006 - Seagate announced the first professional Direct-To-Disc digital cinema
    Digital cinema
    Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute and project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector...

     professional video camera
    Professional video camera
    A professional video camera is a high-end device for creating electronic moving images...

     aimed at the independent
    Independent film
    An independent film, or indie film, is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system. In addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies, independent films are also produced...

     filmmaking
    Filmmaking
    Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

     market (using their disc drives).
  • May 2006 - Seagate acquired Maxtor
    Maxtor
    Maxtor Corporation, founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate Technology in 2006, was an American manufacturer of computer hard disk drives, the third largest in the world immediately prior to acquisition...

     in an all-stock deal worth $1.9 billion. Seagate continued to market the separate Maxtor brand.
  • October 2006 - Seagate shipped the first hybrid drive
    Hybrid drive
    A Hybrid Drive, Hybrid Hard Drive , or Hybrid Hard Disk Drive is a type of large-buffer computer hard disk drive. It is different from standard hard drives in that it integrates a cache using non-volatile memory or even a small solid-state drive...

    .
  • 2007 - Seagate acquired EVault and MetaLINCS, later rebranded i365
    I365
    i365, A Seagate Company, is a corporation that develops and sells on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid data backup and recovery solutions for data protection, data retention management, and data recovery. Based in Santa Clara, California, USA, the company has sales, service, and data center...

    .
  • April 2008 - Seagate was the first to ship 1 billion hard drives.
  • January 2009 - Bill Watkins was released from employment as CEO.
  • December 2009 - Seagate announce their first solid-state drive
    Solid-state drive
    A solid-state drive , sometimes called a solid-state disk or electronic disk, is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block i/o hard disk drive...

    , the Seagate Pulsar.

2010s

  • January 2010 - Seagate's Board of Directors approved changing the company's incorporation Seagate from the Cayman Islands
    Cayman Islands
    The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica...

     to Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    . The change was approved at a shareholders meeting on April 14, 2010 and the change of incorporation took effect on July 3, 2011.
  • June 2010 - Seagate released the world's first 3TB hard drive, in the form of an external hard drive as part of their Seagate FreeAgent
    Seagate FreeAgent
    FreeAgent is a line of external hard drives manufactured by Seagate. They include FreeAgent Pro, FreeAgent Desktop, and FreeAgent Go. They range in size from 60 GB to 3 TB....

     line of external Hard Drives.
  • September 2010 - Seagate released the world's first portable 1.5TB hard drive.
  • March 2011 - Seagate announced the first standalone version of its 3TB hard drive that can be used with their desktop computers.
  • September 2011 - Seagate launched the world's first 4TB single harddisk external drive.

Corporate affairs



Seagate was traded for most of its life as a public company
Public company
This is not the same as a Government-owned corporation.A public company or publicly traded company is a limited liability company that offers its securities for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or through market makers operating in over the counter markets...

 under the symbol "SGAT" on the NASDAQ
NASDAQ
The NASDAQ Stock Market, also known as the NASDAQ, is an American stock exchange. "NASDAQ" originally stood for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations". It is the second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization in the world, after the New York Stock Exchange. As of...

 system, then moved to the NYSE system under the symbol "SEG" in the 1990s. In 2000, Seagate incorporated in the Grand Cayman Islands in order to reduce income taxes. In 2000, the company was taken private by an investment group composed of Seagate management, Silver Lake Partners
Silver Lake Partners
Silver Lake is a US-based private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments in technology, technology-enabled and related industries...

, Texas Pacific Group
Texas Pacific Group
TPG Capital is one of the largest private equity investment firms globally, focused on leveraged buyout, growth capital and leveraged recapitalization investments in distressed companies and turnaround situations. TPG also manages investment funds specializing in growth capital, venture capital,...

 and others in a three-way merger-spinoff with Veritas Software
VERITAS Software
Veritas Software Corp. was an international software company that was founded in 1983 as Tolerant Systems, renamed Veritas Software Corp. in 1989, and merged with Symantec in 2005. It was headquartered in Mountain View, California...

; Veritas merged with Seagate, which was bought by the investment group. Veritas was then immediately spun off to shareholders, gaining rights to Seagate Software Network and Storage Management Group (with products such as Backup Exec
Backup Exec
Backup Exec is proprietary backup software currently developed by Symantec. Backup Exec has a long history of being sold from one company to another. Its earliest roots stretch back to the early 1980s when Maynard Electronics created a bundle of software drivers to help sell their tape drive...

), as well as Seagate's shares in SanDisk
SanDisk
SanDisk Corporation is an American multinational corporation that designs, develops and manufactures data storage solutions in a range of form factors using the flash memory, controller and firmware technologies. It was founded in 1988 by Dr. Eli Harari and Sanjay Mehrotra, non-volatile memory...

 and Dragon Systems. Seagate Software Information Management Group was renamed Crystal Decisions
Crystal Decisions
Crystal Decisions is the name of a company that was known for its Business intelligence products....

 in May 2001. Seagate re-entered the public market in December 2002 on the NYSE as "STX."

Automatic acoustic management and Convolve lawsuit



In July 2000, Convolve Inc. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) filed a lawsuit against Compaq Computer Corp. and Seagate Technology Inc. in the US District Court Southern District of New York, alleging that the defendants had stolen Convolve's computer disk drive technologies (US patents 4,916,635 and 5,638,267) and incorporated them into Seagate's products as 'Sound Barrier Technology' (SBT). In June 2001, a claim for US patent 6,314,473 was added to the claim, and Convolve asserted amended Seagate's infringement of patent 6,314,473 in February 2002, which alleged Seagate's infringement was willful.

During the course of lawsuit, National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh claimed the insurers have no duty to defend Seagate, but a federal judge in California ruled that NUFICOP must defend the claim.

Although Seagate had tried to suppress evidence from their attorneys due to attorney-client privilege
Attorney-client privilege
Attorney–client privilege is a legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney and keeps those communications confidential....

, Convolve claimed that the evaluation was fair game for discovery. The district court found that Seagate had waived the privilege to all documents within the scope of the waiver and ordered Seagate to turn over all documents exchanged amongst outside counsel relating to the alleged use by Seagate of the Convolve patents. Seagate unsuccessfully tried to stay this decision at the district court level before the Federal Circuit stepped in. However, the Federal Circuit determined that the waiver of attorney-client privilege should not be extended to trial counsel.

In 2008, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled in favor of Convolve Inc. and against Seagate Technology Inc. The Board denied Seagate's motions challenging the patentability of Convolve's claims. Seagate did not appeal the Board's decision. In 2008-08-20, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) concluded U.S. patent 6,314,473 was valid, without change to the originally issued claim scope. Convolve also filed lawsuit against Dell Computer, Western Digital, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Inc., and Hitachi Ltd., asserting the '473 and another patent. In 2009-04-01, USPTO concluded five of the original U.S. Patent 4,916,635 ('635) claim were valid, but the patent had expired during reexamination proceedings. The ruling allowed Convolve to claim damages against Seagate prior to the patent's expiration, with trial beginning in January 2010.

As a result of the lawsuit, Seagate stopped supporting automatic acoustic management
Automatic Acoustic Management
Automatic acoustic management is a method for reducing acoustic emanations in AT Attachment mass storage devices, such as ATA hard disk drives and ATAPI optical disc drives...

 on hard drives beginning with Seagate Barracuda 7200.7, before rulings of the trial had been decided. Nevertheless, some Barracuda 7200.7 drives included AAM support. In later products such as Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, the quiet seek mode is set at the factory and cannot be adjusted by end users.

Acquisitions

  • Samsung
    Samsung Group
    The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

    's hard disk drive division (announced April 2011)
  • Maxtor
    Maxtor
    Maxtor Corporation, founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate Technology in 2006, was an American manufacturer of computer hard disk drives, the third largest in the world immediately prior to acquisition...

     (May 2006)
    • MiniScribe
      MiniScribe
      MiniScribe was a manufacturer of disk storage products, founded in Longmont, Colorado in 1980. MiniScribe designed and sold stepper motor-based hard disk drives with a large amount of onboard intelligence for the time. They eventually moved into higher-profile voice coil motor designs, at which...

       acquired by Maxtor in 1990
    • Quantum Corp's hard disk drive division acquired by Maxtor in 2000
      • Digital Equipment Corporation
        Digital Equipment Corporation
        Digital Equipment Corporation was a major American company in the computer industry and a leading vendor of computer systems, software and peripherals from the 1960s to the 1990s...

        's storage division acquired by Quantum in 1994
  • Conner Peripherals
    Conner Peripherals
    Conner Peripherals was a company that manufactured hard drives for personal computers. Conner Peripherals was founded in 1985 by Seagate Technology co-founder Finis Conner but it in itself never produced a product. In 1986 Conner Peripherals merged with CoData, started by MiniScribe founders Terry...

     (1996)
  • CDC's Imprimis division
    Control Data Corporation
    Control Data Corporation was a supercomputer firm. For most of the 1960s, it built the fastest computers in the world by far, only losing that crown in the 1970s after Seymour Cray left the company to found Cray Research, Inc....

    (1989)

External links