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Japan-Update

Toshiba to churn out world-leading hard drive in Philippines

Helium-sealed design improves disk performance to boost capacity

TOKYO -- Eyeing growth in data storage demand internationally, Toshiba will begin mass production of world-leading high-capacity conventional hard-disk drives in the Philippines as early as the first half of 2018.

The 14-terabyte devices will replace existing drives in places like data centers. They are filled with helium, which is lighter than air, for better performance. The Japanese electronics group has begun sample shipments, touting helium drives as a future mainstay.

The company will invest about 5 billion yen ($47 million) to boost output at the Philippine facilities, where it makes most of its hard drives. The hope is to expand sales worldwide through more competitive pricing made possible by relatively low-cost manufacturing in the Southeast Asian nation.

By putting the new drives into mass production quickly, Toshiba aims to grow its market share as it chases global leaders Western Digital and Seagate Technology.

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