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In thermally assisted magnetic recording, one of the most important issues is the reliability of the near-field transducer and the magnetic recording head. When the near-field transducer transfers the optical energy to the media through coupling from the waveguide, it inevitably heats itself and its surrounding area, such as the magnetic recording head, which tends to cause long-term performance degradation. To mitigate the problem, one possible solution is to apply a pulsed laser beam instead of a constant one. In this paper, the performance characteristics of the pulsed thermally assisted magnetic recording are analyzed by modeling. Simulation results show that similar recording performance can be achieved through a much reduced laser beam duty cycle (~ 30%).