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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Advances in Magnetic Data Storage Technologies

Advances in Magnetic Data Storage Technologies
Bandic, Z. Victora, R. H.

This special issue covers advances that have spurred real density growth of magnetic recording technologies, and future technologies that are expected including new architectures of storage systems.

Scaling of areal bit density of magnetic media requires scaling of the grain size. However, the grain size cannot be arbitrarily reduced because the superparamagnetic limit is reached at the point when a grain is so small that thermal energy alone is sufficient to cause change in its magnetic orientation. The current consensus in the HDD industry is that perpendicular magnetic recording may continue to scale up to 500-1000Gb/in2, while in the future, patterned media and HAMR will be required to extend bit areal density beyond 1 Tb/in2.

For Silicon Flash-based memories, as the gate length is reduced, the oxide thickness has to be proportionally reduced, currently reaching the point where the oxide film is so think that charge retention becomes degraded trough trap assisted tunneling. This leads to a reduced number of erase cycles available for Si flash, and in turn reduces the number of times Si flash can be read or written.

For the storage system, power efficiency, data security, and new storage architectures for Si flash-based memories become one of the important required features.

Currently, perpendicular magnetic recording is used, but MRAM, HAMR, and Si-based NAND flash memory lead new storage architectures.

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