Read-Rite says They, Not Seagate, Are Top in Vertical Recording Density

Tape drive component manufacturer Read-Rite announced today that it has made a breakthrough in data storage technology, achieving a magnetic data storage world record of 146 gigabits per square inch using vertical recording technology. According to the company, this breakthrough shatters the previous perpendicular record announced earlier this week, by Seagate, by over 40%, and also surpasses the previous world record for longitudal recording of 130Gb/in2 set by Read-Rite in April 2002. Seagate earlier this week claimed the record for areal density with over 100 gigabits per square inch.

Read-Rite says this milestone, representing over 190 gigabytes per 3.5-inch platter, was achieved through the use of advanced probe head writing technology utilizing Fuji Electric Corporation’s perpendicular magnetic recording disks. Read-Rite presented the results of the perpendicular recording achievement this week at the Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference held in Tampa, Florida.

“We continue to focus on the future technology requirements of our customers. The achievement of 146 gigabits per square inch will enable hard disk drive manufacturers, when the technology reaches the market in the next 2 – 3 years, to provide our customers high storage capacity at low costs,” said Dr. Mark Re, senior vice president of R&D. “Perpendicular recording technology enables head manufactures to continue to deliver the technology and reliability our customers expect to projected densities of 1 terabit per square inch,” he added.

The demonstration utilized fully integrated read/write heads manufactured using Read-Rite’s production wafer fab process, and the Company’s advanced technology in its slider fab and assembly processes; technology currently used on today’s products. The data rate used for this demonstration was 420 megabits per second and the sensitivity of the advanced GMR head was 24.5 millivolts per micron. This sensitivity is the result of the large signal available from the perpendicular disk and does not rely on improvements in mass volume read sensor technologies.

The advanced probe head utilized in the demonstration required only 10 milliamperes of write currents, or approximately 25% of the write current required for longitudinal write heads currently in the market today. The company believes that this requirement of a small write current will be advantageous for high data rate recording and product reliability. The 146 gigabits per square inch was accomplished with the fully integrated heads flying at a nominal magnetic spacing of 10 nm over an advanced perpendicular disk from Fuji Electric. Fuji’s perpendicular media had a coercivity of 6000 Oersted and Mrt of .4 memu per sq. cm. The 146 billion bits per square inch of data were written with a linear density of 772,000 bits per inch along the concentric tracks packed at a density of 189,000 per radial inch. The linear density reported here is substantially greater than today’s products. The on-track data was read with an uncorrected bit error rate of less than one error in over one hundred thousand bits, and with an off-track capability of better than 18% of the track pitch.

Read-Rite Corporation is one of the world’s leading independent manufacturers of magnetic recording heads, head gimbal assemblies (HGAs) and head stack assemblies (HSAs) for disk drives and tape drives.

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