Disc Memory

Division name: Disc Memory

Founded: 1976
Address: 11311 Chinden Blvd, Boise Idaho
Overhead View of HP Boise Campus


In November of 1976, the Data Systems Division started shifting the development and production of HP disc drives (7900A and 7905A) to the new Disc Memory Division in Boise. The new division was headed by Dick Hackborn. HP had shipped 7000 disc drives since the introduction of the 7900A in 1971. In July of 1977, DMD marketing relocated from Cupertino to Boise. DMD booked $20M in revenue in 1977. The system discs were designated as product line 66 within HP.

The first of the new-generation disc drives developed by DMD was the 50 Mb 7920A in 1977. The 7920A came in a floor pedestal “washing machine” cabinet. Previous HP disc drives had been designed for mounting in 19-inch racks. The new form factor was the primary industrial design for HP system discs through the introduction of the 7933/35 drives in 1983. In 1978, DMD introduced the 20-Mb 7906 to replace the 7905.

In March of 1980, DMD introduced HP's first winchester hard drive, the 7910A. In June of 1980, Doug Spreng became the operating manager of DMD.

DMD grew rapidly from its inception. The division booked almost $200M in revenue in 1981, having grown an average of 90 percent per year in each of the previous five years. In 1983, the division overtook the Data Terminals Division as the largest peripherals division in the company.

In September of 1983, Don Curtis became the new general manager of DMD. In 1984, DMD revenue exceeded $300M, making it the largest single product line in the company.

In 1986, DMD introduced the 7936 and 7937 "Eagle" disc drives.

In September of 1989, DMD split into two divisions. The Disk Mechanisms Division made disc platforms for OEMs. It was managed by Don Curtis. The Disk Storage Systems Division made plug-compatible storage solutions with proprietary interfaces. It was managed by Doug Clifford.

In late 1990, Bruce Spenner was appointed general manager of Disk Mechanisms Division.

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