“Nanotechnology and Future of the Hard Disk Drive”
San Jose Research Center
HGST, a Western Digital company
San Jose, CA
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 > 500 Gbit/in2, with data bits < 65nm x 15nm, read sensor dimensions < 60nm 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. 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 discuss the science and technology of advanced read and write components that are aimed at further advancing magnetic storage towards 10 Tb/in2.