The hard disk drive industry and research community are constantly looking into new technologies that can help to maintain its areal density growth. The current perpendicular recording technology is expected to bring us to slightly over 1 Tb/in2. Even when coupled with shingled writing, the HDD areal density increase can somewhat continue by a factor or two. Beyond that and towards the 10 or multi Tb/in2 regime, new recording mechanisms need to be explored and implemented. A few promising new technologies have been identified, and they include, among others, energy-assisted magnetic recording and bit patterned media recording.

In DSI, the Drive Systems and Technologies (DST) Division coordinates the various efforts in many aspects of the HDD and related technologies to propel magnetic disk drive recording closer to the multi-terabit target. Efforts in DSI include new magnetics and magnetic media, new recording physics and writing schemes, new head structure and materials, new head-disk interface schemes and slider engineering and so on), testing and instrumentation for read sensors, sliders, motors, actuators and magnetic recording media; system level investigations of mechanics, magnetics, vibration, acoustics, shock, air flow, and heat transfer; as well as coding and signal processing aspects.

Wide spectrum of capabilities enabling design and technology to product

The DSI 5mm thin Hybrid A*Drive HDD was launched in 1 November 2012. The A*Drive is one of the world’s first 5mm thin true 2.5” form factor HDD that is largely designed, developed and assembled in DSI. It encompasses many of the technologies developed in the DST division, such as the ultra-thin axial field motor, the unimount “sliderlast” arm/suspension, as well as dedicated servo technology. The design and realization of a real operational HDD with proprietary in-house technologies, showcases the capabilities and expertise of DSI and DST in many areas, not limited to magnetics, electronics, mechanics, precision engineering, motors, control and testing technology.

Key Research Areas

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