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Seagate is reorganising its research and development units for the second time in a week, in an effort to bring to market new technology more quickly. The disk drive vendor is splashing out $30 million on a new disk-drive research centre based in research magnetic and optical materials, processes, and technologies. Based in Pittsburgh, the new centre will employ 40 staff, increasing numbers to 100 by 2001. Last week, Seagate funnelled all development and testing of optical storage technologies into its Quinta subsidiary. At the same time it transferred Quinta's non-optical storagre R&D responsibiliites into other divisions. When technologies are proven reliable, they are bumped up to Seagate's Advanced Concepts Laboratories and to design centres, for product development and delivery. By streamlining its R&D units, Seagate hopes to reduce the time it takes to transform technology into product. This is intended to help the company conserve margin at a time of excess industry capacity and plunging hard disk drive prices. ®

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