Hitachi Predicts Blazing Pace of Hard Drive Adoption on Technology's 50th Anniversary; Analysts Predict Industry to Ship More Hard Drives over Next Five Years than in Previous 50; Innovation to Continue Unabated

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2006--As the hard disk drive approaches its Golden Anniversary this year, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi) believes the industry is just now hitting its stride in the rate of adoption. With its heritage in hard drive invention, Hitachi's efforts over the next five years will be marked by significant manufacturing and market expansion that could triple current annual shipments by decade-end -- approaching 200 million drives per year.

That's staggering when compared to recent DISK/TREND data, which showed that the entire industry took nearly 50 years to ship two billion hard drives. Furthermore, industry analyst firm IDC predicts the industry will more than match its hard drive output of the past 50 years in less than five.

"For the foreseeable future, we believe there is no technology capable of displacing the hard drive for sheer capacity and cost leadership," said Hiroaki Nakanishi, CEO, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "We have tremendous optimism that the industry may just now be facing its finest moment: Hard drives are at the highest rate of adoption ever, with nowhere to go but up, and Hitachi is invested to become a significant force in that growth."

The demand for hard drives, arguably one of mankind's most pivotal inventions, is expected to increase multiple-fold. In a recent paper, the University of California at Berkeley projected the worldwide data stored on magnetic media to be 99.5 exabytes in 2005, as compared to 7 exabytes in 2000. An exabyte is 1.074 billion gigabytes.

As the hard drive turns the corner on its 50th birthday, it's interesting to note the following:

-- Over the past 50 years, areal density -- the measurement of how many data bits can be stored on an inch of disk space -- has increased 50 million times, or conversely, data bits experienced a 50-million-fold reduction in size;

-- RAMAC, the first hard drive -- delivered on September 13, 1956 -- stored 5 megabytes of data. Today, the highest-capacity hard drive holds 500 gigabytes of data, which Hitachi delivered first to market with the Deskstar 7K500;

-- In 1956, the RAMAC cost $50,000 or $10,000 per megabyte. Today, a gigabyte of storage on a 3.5-inch hard drive can cost less than $.50;

-- Today, 92 percent of all new data created reside on magnetic media, primarily hard drives.

After 50 years of protecting the world's data, Hitachi believes the hard disk drive is now, more than ever, the cornerstone of personal and business computing.

Hitachi holds the privilege of preserving the legacy and upholding the innovation heritage of the hard drive, having acquired the IBM hard drive business in 2003. IBM invented the hard drive in San Jose, California and brought it to market in 1956 as the RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control.)

As Hitachi ushers in the 51st year of the hard drive, new technology transitions like perpendicular recording, patterned media and thermally-assisted recording are planned to extend magnetic recording into the foreseeable future. 2006, for Hitachi, will represent a year of key technology transitions that will enhance critical hard drive componentry -- head and disk -- and manufacturing processes. Through these innovations, Hitachi anticipates reaching new heights in hard drive capacity and reliability, with a focus on fine-tuning product feature sets to match the specific needs of a multitude of new industry segments requiring high-capacity hard disk storage.

Additional information on the past 50 years of hard disk drive innovation can be found at Hitachi's interactive Technology Timeline --

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is a storage technology leader, founded in 2003 through the combination of Hitachi's and IBM's hard disk drive businesses. Hitachi GST enables users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing high-value hard drives in formats suitable for the office, on the road and in the home.

With its legacy in hard drive invention, Hitachi GST will lead the industry in celebrating the hard drive's golden anniversary in 2006. After five decades of innovation, the hard drive has had a profound effect on the computing and consumer electronics industries. That heritage lives on at Hitachi GST through products that define the standard for hard drive miniaturization, capacity, performance and reliability.

With more than 27,000 employees worldwide, Hitachi GST offers a comprehensive range of hard drive products for desktop computers, high-performance servers, notebooks and consumer devices. For more information, please visit the company's web site at

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 347,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2004 (ended March 31, 2005) consolidated sales totaled 9,027.0 billion yen ($84.4 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's Web site at

"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Statements in this release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, statements regarding the company's expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Forward-looking statements in this release include, without limitation, statements regarding: Hitachi's expectation that its efforts over the next five years will be marked by significant manufacturing and market expansion that could triple current annual shipments, approaching 200 million drives per year by decade end; Hitachi's belief that there is no technology capable of displacing the hard drive for sheer capacity and cost leadership; hard drives having the highest rate of adoption ever, with nowhere to go but up; and critical changes by Hitachi resulting in new heights in hard drive capacity and reliability. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties, such as: changes in customer needs; new products and services offerings by the company and its competitors; any unforeseen event or any unforeseen manufacturing system failures; possible delays in developing and marketing new products; possible component parts shortages; employment issues at our new facility; and other risks indicated in Hitachi, Ltd.'s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Readers should also refer to the documents filed by Hitachi with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the annual report filed on Form 20-F for the year ended March 31, 2005, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 25, 2005, and Hitachi's periodic reports filed from time to time, which identify important risk factors.