Seagate invests $79M to expand R&D in Singapore with 'The Shugart'

The storage giant is opening a new design and R&D center called "The Shugart", which will focus on development of 2.5-inch small form-factor products for computing devices.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
The facility, worth S$100 million, is expected to be completed by early 2014, and will be located at Singapore's Fusionopolis (Source: Seagate)

Seagate Technology has opened a new design and R&D center in Singapore, which will focus developing storage products for computing devices.

The facility named "The Shugart", will provide R&D facilities for the mobile storage R&D team in Singapore, and focus on the development of 2.5-inch small form-factor products for notebooks, ultrabooks, convertibles and tablets, the storage giant said in a statement released Tuesday. The Shugart is named after the company’s founder, Alan Shugart.
Applications for 2.5-inch HDDs include the mobile compute market, thin and light devices, such as tablets and slim external storage products, DVRs, hybrid technology, and new opportunities such as network attached storage solutions.

Seagate had invested S$100 million (US$78.9 million) in the facility, which can house more than 900 employees, and consist of a nine-floor tower connected to a six-floor tower with three basement levels. The new facility will enable all Seagate's R&D personnel to be housed together for greater collaboration and innovation.

The facility is expected to be completed in early 2015 at Singapore's Fusionopolis Business Park.

"The Singapore R&D team plays a key role within Seagate's global R&D efforts. With growing consumer demand for tablets and notebooks, the need to innovate within the mobile storage solutions industry is critical and that's exactly what the Singapore R&D team focuses on," Mark Re, chief technology officer and senior vice president, Seagate Technology's R&D, said in the statement.

In its Q3 earnings released May, Seagate's net income had fallen to US$464 million and had a gross margin of 27.6 percent, down from its Q2 figures, and said it was focused on the efficiency of operations and returning value to its shareholders. Seagate is also gearing up to ship its thinnest hard drive, measuring 5mm thin, which can be integrated into lightweight mobile computing devices and tablets.

According to Seagate, Singapore has been a key market for over 30 years. Since the formation of the Singapore R&D team in 1984, the number of engineers, scientists and technologists has grown to over 500, it added.

Seagate's current footprint in Singapore comprises its International Headquarters (IHQ), the Woodlands Recording Media operation that includes a S$1.3 billion extension in 2006 and the Science Park Design Centre. The Science Park Design Centre team will be relocating to the new Shugart building.

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