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In an attempt to solve an important problem of future storage products, Maxtor’s fully-owned subsidiary MMC Technology has developed and demonstrated its new perpendicular recording medium (PMR) disk manufacturing process which delivers production costs similar to today’s longitudinal recording media. MMC showcased a single-pass media production process for perpendicular medium using existing manufacturing equipment, making the transition to the next era of areal-density possible at affordable costs.

MMC is able to leverage the same equipment used to produce today’s longitudinal media (LMR) with only an incremental cost of material due to the development of its new thick soft underlayer (SUL) magnetic material structure. This structure reduces the SUL required for efficient writing from 400nm to as thin as 100nm, does not require extra sputtering machines and can be produced at the same throughput as LMR. MMC’s existing equipment can also accommodate the increased complexity associated with future PMR media that requires additional metallic layers.

MMC media is capable of up to a 175GB/platter density using advanced developmental PMR heads. This achievement is a result of decreasing grain sizes from today’s LMR grains at 8nm to an average of 6nm in diameter.

In addition, the MMC team reduced the recording layer-to-SUL spacing, resulting in continued improvements in signal to noise ratio and bit error rates. By fabricating narrow grain size distributions and large negative nucleation fields, MMC's PMR media is magnetically stable exhibiting non-detectable thermal decay.

First HDDs using perpendicular recording medium are projected to emerge in the market in 2005.

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