Western Digital and Tandon Corp. have decided to manufacture personal computer disk drives in Singapore.
The two high-technology companies have formed a joint-venture company, Westan Private Ltd., to make "intelligent" 3.5-inch Winchester hard disk drives.
The disk drives, to be supplied by Tandon, are called "intelligent" because they will have built-in controllers, made by Western Digital, to handle communication between the disk drive and the computer's microprocessor. Traditionally, the controller is in a separate part of the computer.
Hard disks can store more information and retrieve it faster than the floppy disks used in many PCs.
Western Digital has loaned Chatsworth-based Tandon $12 million to pay for the venture. The Irvine firm may eventually provide another $10 million for working capital and expansion needs.
The decision to locate the plant in Singapore was made because Tandon and many other U.S. disk drive manufactures already have factories there, said Kathy Braun, vice president and general manager of Western Digital's storage products group.