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Hard-disk-drive technology flat heads for linear tape recording

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2 Author(s)
Biskeborn, R.G. ; IBM Systems Group, 5600 Cottle Road, San Jose, California 95023, USA ; Eaton, J.H.

IBM thin-film tape heads have evolved from the ferrite-based heads first used in the IBM Model 3480 Tape Drive to the hard-disk-drive (HDD) technology flat-profile heads used in IBM Linear Tape-Open® (LTO®) products. This paper describes that transition and discusses the flat tape head manufacturing processes, drive implementation, performance, and outlook. Thin-film head technology for hard-disk drives was first used in tape heads in the early 1990s, when IBM built quarter-inch cartridge head images on HDD-type wafers. This was a springboard for the next step, flat-lapped tape heads, which use not only HDD wafers, but also HDD post-wafer machining technologies. With the emergence of LTO, flat heads entered mainstream tape head production in IBM. These have proven to have high performance and durability.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 4 )