Datadobi

HISTORY: List of 221 Companies in HDD Manufacturing Since 1956

Only three remaining
By Jean Jacques Maleval on 2013.03.28

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218 companies worldwide have taken a stab at HDD assembly production - not including components -, only to be shot down in the end by Winchester with now only three remaining (Seagate, Toshiba and WD). The other ones didn't survive or were acquired.

We've gathered all of them here in our HDD Graveyard, based on a list from Seagate, modified by the late Jim Porter from Disk/Trend, and others.

After the introduction of the first HDD, the IBM RAMAC in 1956, several big computer firms entered in this field to compete with large and expansive IBM-compatible devices like Control Data, Memorex, Univac, Storage Technology and others, using disks with a diameter of eight inches and more.

The market completely changes with the arrival of Seagate Technology launching the first small form-factor (5.25-inch) HDD, named ST506 (5MB). Then there was an incredible number of firms arriving to try to compete in this growing market with products in same volume and then smaller ones:

  • 3.5-inch where Rodime - at 10MB - was a pioneer in 1983,
  • 2.5-inch introduced by PrairieTek - at 20MB - in 1988,
  • 1.8-inch by Integral Peripherals - at 21.4MB -in 1991, 1.3-inch by HP -at 21.4MB - in 1992,
  • 1.0-inch from IBM - at 340MB - in 1999, and
  • even 0.85-inch by Toshiba - at 4GB - in 2004.

Now there are only 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch rotating disk drives on the market and a small production of 1.8-inch units by Toshiba, smaller form factors being eliminated by flash memories.

The big majority of all HDD makers came from USA, some of them from Europe (Bull, Rodime, Siemens, etc.) and Asia (Alps, GS-Magicstor, Hitachi, MKE, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, etc.).

Seagate was also the first US company to manufacture HDDs outside USA with a plant in Singapore. Now about all component and assembly plants are based in just four countries: China, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.

In Europe, there was a total of 22 manufacturing facilities, all closed but one: Seagate's plant in Springtown, Londonderry Plant, Northern Ireland, making disk heads on wafers.

In the list below are included manufacturers of HDDs with removable rigid disks (Castlewood, Iomega, Nomai, SyQuest, etc.)

Should you have any additions or corrections, please let us know.

HDD MANUFACTURERS STILL AROUND

  • Seagate Technology
  • Toshiba
  • WD

HDD GRAVEYARD

  • 3M
  • Advanced Storage Technology
  • Alps Electric
  • Amcodyne
  • Ampex
  • Anelex
  • Apple Computer
  • Applied Information Memories
  • Applied Peripheral Systems
  • Areal Technology
  • Atasi
  • Athenaeum
  • Aura Associates
  • Avatar Systems
  • Ball Computer Products
  • BASF
  • Belfort Memory International
  • BlueWave
  • Brand Technologies
  • Bryant Computer Products
  • Bull Périphériques
  • Burroughs
  • Caelus Memories
  • CalComp
  • Calluna Technology
  • Castlewood Systems
  • Century Data Systems/Calcomp
  • CII
  • Citizen Watch
  • Cogito Systems
  • Comport
  • Computer Memories, Inc.
  • Computer Memory Devices
  • Control Data/Imprimis
  • Conner Peripherals
  • Conner Technology
  • Cornice
  • Corvus
  • CTI
  • Cybernetics
  • Daeyoung Electronics
  • Dastek
  • Data 100
  • Data Disk
  • Data General
  • Data Peripherals
  • Datapoint
  • Data Products
  • Data Recording Instruments
  • DataBank
  • Dataproducts
  • Datex
  • Davong
  • DDC Pertec
  • Decitek
  • Diablo Systems/Itel/Xerox
  • Digital Equipment
  • Disctron
  • Disk Memory Technology
  • Disk Tech One
  • Drivetec
  • Dynacoustics
  • DZU
  • Ecol. 2
  • Elebra
  • Electronic Memories
  • Epson
  • Evotek
  • ExcelStor
  • First Class Peripherals
  • Friden/Singer
  • Fuji Electric
  • Fujitsu
  • General Electric
  • Gigastorage International
  • Goldstar (with Fuji Electric)
  • GS-Magicstor/RioSpring
  • Hai Tai Electronics (for PTI)
  • Halo Data Devices
  • Hawker Siddley
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Hightrack Computer Technik
  • Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
  • Hokushin
  • Honeywell Bull
  • Hyosung
  • IBIS
  • IBM
  • Information Storage Systems (ISS)
  • Infotechnics
  • Intégral Peripherals
  • International Memories
  • Inventa
  • Iomec
  • Iomega
  • Irwin International
  • Josephine County Technology
  • JVC
  • JTS
  • Kaifa Group
  • Kalok
  • Kennedy Company
  • Kyocera
  • LaPine Technology
  • Legend (for Gigastorage)
  • LFE
  • Linnell Engineering
  • KME-Panasonic
  • Magnetic Peripherals
  • Magnum Technology
  • MagTron
    MarQlin
  • Marshall Laboratories
  • Matsushita Kotobuki Electr.
  • Maxtor
  • Memorex
  • Memory Systems
  • Metronex
  • MFE
  • Micro Peripherals
  • Micro Storage
  • Microstor
  • Microcomputer Systems
  • Microdata
  • Microlab
  • Micropolis
    Micropolis Singapore Technologies
  • Microscience International
  • Miniscribe
  • MiniStor Peripherals
  • Morrow Designs
  • Mitac
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mitsumi
  • Multidigit
  • NCR
  • NEC
  • New World Computer
  • Newbury Data
  • Nikimi
  • Nippon Electric Industry
  • Nippon Peripherals, Ltd.
  • Nippon Systemhouse
  • Nipponcoinco
  • Nixdorf Computer
  • Nomaï
  • North Star
  • Ohio Scientific
  • Okidata
  • Olivetti
  • Olympia International
  • OMI Memories
  • OPC (for SyQuest)
  • Ontrax
  • Orbis
  • Orca Technology
  • Otari Electric
  • Pacific Mag
  • PCS (for Calluna)
  • Pegasus
  • Perkin Elmer
  • Peripherals General
  • Pertec Computer
  • Philips Data Systems
  • Potter Instrument
  • PrairieTek
  • Priam
  • PTI
  • Quantum
  • Raymond Engineering
  • RCA
  • Rico
  • Ritek (MicroStor)
  • Robotron
  • Rodime
  • ROM-Control Data
  • Rotating Memory Systems
  • Sagem
  • Samsung
  • Sanyo Electric
  • Sequel
  • Shinwa Digital
  • Shugart Associates
  • Siemens
  • SLI Associates
  • Sony
  • Sord Computer
  • Sperry
  • Storage Technology
  • Sycor
  • SyQuest Technology
  • Tandon
  • Teac
  • Tecstor
  • Telex
  • Texas Instruments
  • Teac
  • Tecmar
  • Telex
    ThinSpin
  • Tokyo Electric
  • Toshiba Ampex Co. (TOAMCO)
  • Tosoh
  • Tracor Data
  • Tulin
  • Unisys
  • Univac
  • Vermont Research
  • Vertex Peripherals
  • VR Data Corp.
  • Wang Laboratories
  • Wangco
  • Western Dynex (Ampex subcontractor)
  • Xcomp
  • Xebec
  • Xyratex (for Calluna)
  • Y-E Data
  • Zentek Storage

 

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