3D Magnetic Recording: Unlocked Unprecedented Hard Drive Storage Density - Latest Global News

3D Magnetic Recording: Unlocked Unprecedented Hard Drive Storage Density

New HDD technology with three-dimensional magnetic recording could increase storage capacities and reduce the number of HDDs required, promising future cost and energy efficiency improvements. Photo credit: SciTechDaily.com

Capability of ultra-high density hard drives and areal densities greater than 10 Tbit/in² with multi-stage magnetic recording.

Research groups from NIMS, Seagate Technology and Tohoku University have achieved a breakthrough in the field of hard disk drives (HDD) by demonstrating the feasibility of multi-stage recording using a three-dimensional magnetic recording medium to store digital information. The research groups have shown that this technology can increase the storage capacity of hard drives, which could lead to more efficient and cost-effective data storage solutions in the future.

Improving data storage capacity

Data centers are increasingly storing large amounts of data on hard disk drives (HDDs), which use Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) to store information at an areal density of approximately 1.5 Tbit/in². However, moving to higher areal densities requires a high anisotropy magnetic recording medium consisting of FePt grains in combination with heat-assisted laser writing. This process, known as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), is capable of maintaining areal recording densities of up to 10 Tbit/in². In addition, densities greater than 10 Tbit/in² are possible, based on a new principle demonstrated by storing multiple recording levels of 3 or 4 compared to the binary level used in HDD technology.

HAMR and three-dimensional magnetic recording systems

Schematic representation of (top) currently used HAMR and (bottom) three-dimensional magnetic recording systems. In the three-dimensional magnetic recording system, the Curie temperature of each recording layer differs by about 100K, and the data is written into each layer by adjusting the laser power. Photo credit: Yukiko Takahashi NIMS, Thomas Chang Seagate Technology, Simon Greaves Tohoku University

Innovations in 3D magnetic recording

In this study, we succeeded in arranging the FePt recording layers in three dimensions by fabricating lattice-matched FePt/Ru/FePt multilayer films with Ru as a spacer layer. Magnetization measurements show that the two FePt layers have different Curie temperatures. This means that three-dimensional recording is possible by adjusting the laser power when writing. Furthermore, we demonstrated the principle of 3D recording through recording simulations by using a media model that mimics the microstructure and magnetic properties of the manufactured media.

Future prospects and implications

The three-dimensional magnetic recording method can increase the recording capacity by stacking recording layers in three dimensions. This means more digital information can be stored using fewer hard drives, resulting in energy savings for data centers. In the future, we plan to develop processes to reduce the size of FePt grains, improve alignment and magnetic anisotropy, and stack more FePt layers to realize a media structure suitable for practical use as a high-density HDD.

This research was published in Journal of Materials on March 24, 2024.

Reference: “Dual-layer FePt-C granular media for multi-level heat-assisted magnetic recording” by P. Tozman, S. Isogami, I. Suzuki, A. Bolyachkin, H. Sepehri-Amin, SJ Greaves, H. Suto , Y. Sasaki, Y. Chang, Y. Kubota, P. Steiner, P. Huang, K. Hono and YK Takahashi, March 24, 2024. Journal of Materials.
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2024.119869

This research was conducted by Dr. P. Tozman, Distinguished Researcher, and Dr. Yukiko Takahashi, group leader of the NIMS Center for Magnetic and Spintronics Materials Research, Dr. TY Chang, researcher at Seagate Technology, and Prof. SJ Greaves from Tohoku University. This work was supported by the Strategic Basic Research Programs (CREST) ​​“Integrated Devices and Systems Utilizing Information Carriers” JPMJCR22C3 of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

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