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Commercial TMR heads for hard disk drives: characterization and extendibility at 300 gbit/in2

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25 Author(s)
Mao, Sining ; Recording Head Operations, Seagate Technol., Minneapolis, MN, USA ; Yonghua Chen ; Liu, Feng ; Xingfu Chen
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Tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) reading heads at an areal density of 80-100 Gbit/in2 in a longitudinal magnetic recording mode have for the first time been commercialized for both laptop and desktop Seagate hard disk drive products. The first generation TMR products utilized a bottom TMR stack and an abutted hard bias design. These TMR heads have demonstrated three times the amplitude of comparable giant magnetoresistive (GMR) devices, resulting in a 0.6 decade bit error rate gain over GMR. This has enabled high component and drive yields. Due to the improved thermal dissipation of current-perpendicular-to-plane geometry, TMR runs cooler and has better lifetime performance, and has demonstrated the similar electrical static discharge robustness as GMR. TMR has demonstrated equivalent or better process and wafer yields compared to GMR. The TMR heads is proven to be a mature and capable reader technology. Using the same TMR head design in conjunction with perpendicular recording, 274 Gbit/in2 has been demonstrated. Advanced design can reach 311 Gbit/in2.

Published in:

Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Feb. 2006

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