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Plastic HDDs on Sony horizon

Cheaper to produce, but no talk of when they will go into volume

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Sony and chemicals firm Nippon Zeon have joined forces to make the world's first plastic disks for computer hard drives. Both companies saw share prices rise on the Tokyo stock market as the news spread. The local press was reporting that manufacturing cost of 5Gb plastic disks is expected to be 30 to 40 per cent lower than aluminium disks. Sony would not confirm the figure, but acknowledged that they would be less expensive to make. A spokesman said that this was because they did not need the same polishing process. He would not comment on a start date for commercial production. Analysts were not impressed, however, saying that it was not yet clear which of Sony's many proposed technologies would be best. The company is also discussing plastic disks with US based Castlewood Systems, and new aluminium and glass disks with Quantum and Western Digital. ®

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