When 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Feb 20, 2015
Where 1670 Beyster Building
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Nanotechnology and Future of the Hard Disk Drive


Jeff Childress
HGST

Hard disk drives using magnetic recording are likely among the most complex devices using nanotechnology.  Today’s commercial hard disk drives can store information at > 600 Gbit/in2, with data bits < 60nm x 15nm, read sensor dimensions < 50nm x 30nm, and the recording head “flying” a few nanometers above the nanostructured recording disk. To maintain this technological evolution, every facet of the magnetic recording system must be continuously reduced in dimensions while maintaining adequate signal-to-noise ratio for writing and reading information.  Beyond the challenge and complexity of the basic magnetic recording components, this requires advanced research and development in varied areas such as mechanics, tribology, and signal processing. I will review current technologies and key challenges in the development of next generation HDD’s approaching 1 Tb/in2, including recording physics, magnetic media materials and write-head geometry, read sensor technology and dimensions, and overall system performance.  I will also briefly describe the science and technology of advanced read and write components that utilize spintronics, near-field optics, and self-assembly, and are aimed at further advancing magnetic storage towards 10 Tb/in2.  Finally, the place of HDD’s in the future memory and data storage hierarchy will be discussed.