Western Digital Aims for 'Notebook' PCs Market

Western Digital, an Irvine company that manufactures microchips and other components used in personal computers, is hoping to share in one of the fast-growing segments of the market: portable "notebook" PCs.

Western Digital and Texas Instruments Inc. jointly developed a miniaturized set of microchips that are at the heart of Texas Instruments' new, 6.7-pound notebook PC, the TravelMate LT286, which was introduced last week.

"This joint-development effort is consistent with our strategy to participate in one of the fastest-growing market segments, portable and laptop computers," said Bob Stephens, general manager of Western Digital's microcomputer products.

Western Digital spokeswoman Linda Orban said the company plans to develop more products for the notebook PC industry, which is projected to grow much faster than the overall desktop PC market.

"This is an important market because it is one of fastest-growing," Orban said. "It's very exciting from the standpoint of how much smaller the components are getting." She said the chips Western Digital designed for the Texas Instruments machine are 40% smaller than similar components that the company builds for desktop PCs.

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