Hard drive maker Seagate is to pump £120m into its Londonderry plant in Northern Ireland over the next two years.
The investment will go into new equipment, research and development, infrastructure and IT systems that should enable the factory to cement its position as a leader in the production of read-write heads for hard drives.
"This investment will allow our Springtown factory to remain at the forefront of the technology and efficiency battle that is waged in the disc drive industry," said John Spangler, vice president at Springtown.
The Northern Ireland factory started production in 1994 and employs about 1,300 people from across Europe.
Seagate announced in April that it had shipped its billionth disc drive. "It took Seagate 29 years to ship its first billion drives but we expect to ship our second billion within the next five years," said Spangler.
"There is a massive amount of digital content being created in the home, in the office and in many other markets today and most of this content is stored on hard drives. This proliferation will continue to fuel hard drive demand into the future."
However, the growing take up of solid state hard drives has led some to question Seagate's focus on read-write heads, which are used exclusively in traditional hard drives.
Ian O'Leary, corporate communications director at Seagate, told vnunet.com that, although solid state drives are gaining momentum, "even the analysts predict they will only be a relatively small part of the market for years to come".
"We see spinning drives as the biggest segment of the storage market for years to come, but we will provide whatever suits our customers, be it spinning discs, solid state or a hybrid of the two," he said.
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