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The core of the current granular perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) media is the granular oxide magnetic layer (GOML). We observe that a fcc NiW seed layer, followed by a hcp Ru layer sputtered under low pressure (LP-Ru) and then by a hcp Ru layer sputtered under high pressure (HP-Ru) provides an excellent structural template for the granular oxide magnetic layer (GOML). Microstructure and magnetic properties of the GOML can be tailored through process conditions and alloy compositions to maximize the recording performance of the perpendicular magnetic recording media. Exchange coupled composite (ECC) media design provides significant improvement in overwrite (OW) and signal-to-noise ratio (S0 NR) for perpendicular magnetic recording media. Recording performance of the ECC media needs to be optimized with consideration of the magnetic properties and thicknesses of both the exchange control layer (ECL) and the cap magnetic layer (CML). At their respective optimum, the recording performance of the ECC media is mostly dependent upon the properties of the GOML and CML. This study indicates that a dual magnetic cap layer structure consisting of low-Ms and high-Ms sublayers can combine the benefits provided by the two types of cap magnetic materials.