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Very soft (Hc~lOe), high field sensitivity (0.44%/Oe) and thermally stable giant magneto- resistance (GMR) properties have been demonstrated in planetary DC magnetron sputtered Ni81Fe19/Cu multilayers (MLs) around the well-defined 2nd antiferromagnetic (AF) coupling peak. These magnetic properties are very promising for magnetic head application. X-ray diffraction data and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images show that the multilayers are high-quality laying structures with coherent interfaces. Most importantly, it was found that these as-deposited samples, with no Fe buffer layer, only exhibit a strong fcc (111) out-of-plane orientation. This is in contrast to the ion-beam deposition case, where GMR effect is strongly correlated to the Ni81Fe19 and Cu (200) crystallite orientation.