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When Permalloy films are used for computer storage, a magnetic keeper can improve performance by reducing the following undesirable conditions: stray fields from adjacent lines and from adjacent bits; the effect of current spreading in the ground plane; and trapped flux in the ground plane which opposes switching in the absence of a low reluctance path outside the bit. Theoretical analysis and experimental verification of these important keeper functions are presented in this paper. Through the use of high-frequency pulse techniques, effects of both metallic and non-metallic keepers, at distances from the ground plane ranging from 5 to 30 mils, have been determined. By defining efficiency as the percentage reduction in the average of four worst-case effects, the efficiency factor of a metallic keeper is shown to be 56 and that of a non-metallic keeper, 73. It is suggested that better efficiency is due more to lower electrical conductivity than to any intrinsic magnetic properties.
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