Hitachi and NEDO to Co-Develop Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording for HDDs

New Technology Could Increase Capacity of Hard Drives by Six Times

by Anton Shilov
11/04/2010 | 11:49 PM

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, have jointly developed basic technologies for microwave magnetic recording which are expected to dramatically expand the recording density of HDD and validate magnetic recording experimentally.

 

In microwave-assisted magnetic recording, a high-frequency magnetic field is applied to a microscopic region of a recording media in order to make the writing of magnetic information easy. NEDO and Hitachi have announced the development of a magnetic head-mountable spin torque oscillator which can generate a high-frequency magnetic field. During testing of the new spin torque oscillator device, data writing of magnetic information onto recording media has been validated experimentally.

In recent years, the development of microwave-assisted recording which utilizes a recording density of 1Tbit/inch2 or more is advancing as a next-generation perpendicular magnetic recording technology. The research results show that microwave-assisted recording is a feasible technology both in principle as well as experimentally. In addition, by using microwave-assisted recording, it was confirmed through computer simulation that a recording density of 3Tbit/inch2 is feasible. In practice this means six times improvement compared to current recording densities, which means that 3.5" drives with four platters will be able to hold 18TB of data.

Until recently, the principles and effects of microwave-assisted recording were demonstrated only through computer simulation, although there have been some reports that verified the reversal of magnetization of magnetic materials by applying a microwave generated from external equipment. However, in order for this to become practical, the microwave device must be miniaturized so that it can be integrated on the writing head.

There have been several published reports related to the effects of microwave assist using an external microwave generator. The verification of magnetic data rewriting using a magnetic head-mountable tiny oscillator at this time indicates that practical use of microwave-assisted recording can be expected in the near future.