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Maxtor demonstrates 175GB disk prototype

Posted: 17 Oct 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mmc technology? maxtor? perpendicular recording? diskcon? western digital?

MMC Technology Inc., the media subsidiary of hard drive maker Maxtor Corp., has announced a prototype 175GB disk for perpendicular recording.

The move comes in the wake of the annual Diskcon conference where Western Digital and Seagate Technology reported their progress on components for perpendicular recording that is expected to be built into drives starting in 2005.

Gunn Choe, director of magnetic R&D at MMC Technology said the Maxtor media sported characteristics superior to media shown by competitors such as Read-Rite Corp, now a subsidiary of Western Digital. For instance, the new Maxtor media can employ a magnetic soft underlayer (SUL) <100nm thick compared to a SUL of 200nm to 400nm from Read-Rite.

In addition, spacing between the SUL and the recording layer can be <10nm in the Maxtor media, improving in signal to noise ratio and bit error rates. And the Maxtor platter had individual magnetic regions, called grains, just 6nm in diameter compared to 8nm-diameter grains used in current longitudinal media. That shrink helps drive makers pack more data on each platter.

"We have developed a very unique structure," Choe said. "The next step for us is to improve our manufacturing yields and fine tune our media signal-to-noise ratio," he added.

The Maxtor media was demonstrated using shielded pole current-in-plane heads from two unnamed vendors. The media was fabricated in a single pass on existing sputtering machines.

Several drive makers predict perpendicular recording will replace the current longitudinal method starting in notebook and server drives in the second half of 2005. However, others have predicted a new class of so-called patterned media could arrive first to extend the life of today's longitudinal recording.

"Patterned media would certainly reduce the burden on the head industry, but the process faces many issues," said Choe. "I doubt people will find a robust manufacturing process for patterned media in the near future," he added.

- Rick Merritt

EE Times

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