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Seagate to invest $300 million in nanotech

The hard-drive manufacturer company will invest more than $300 million at in Northern Ireland in the next four years.

Seagate Technology, a company that designs, manufactures and markets hard drives, announced on Wednesday that it will invest more than $300 million at its two manufacturing plants in Northern Ireland over the next four years.

Seagate's Londonderry plant will become the company's main manufacturing facility and a development site for hard drives. The company said it will extensively invest in nanotechnology, including new clean rooms, at the nanotech research and manufacturing facility.

The second Seagate plant in Northern Ireland, at Limavady, will produce a wider range of aluminium substrates for integration into Seagate's hard-drive products for desktop computers and business servers.

"The Londonderry plant will now become a nanotechnology center of excellence in the development of thin film technology, specializing in next generation and leading-edge photolithography. It will bring total expenditure by Seagate at this facility to almost $600 million since it opened in 1993," said John Spangler, managing director of Seagate Technology Media Ireland.

"Our research and development projects have benefited substantially from ease of access to the resources and experienced nanotech research teams at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster," he added.

Both projects are being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland, the region's economic development agency.

"As Seagate Technology continues to spend more on research and development than any of its competitors, this new investment project will consolidate the position of Londonderry as a global nanotechnology center," said Iain Miller, director of Invest Northern Ireland, Europe.

Tom Espiner reported for ZDNet UK.