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Probe-based ultrahigh-density storage technology

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26 Author(s)
A. Pantazi ; IBM Research Division, Zurich Research Laboratory, Säumerstrasse 4, 8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland ; A. Sebastian ; T. A. Antonakopoulos ; P. Bächtold
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Ultrahigh storage densities can be achieved by using a thermomechanical scanning-probe-based data-storage approach to write, read back, and erase data in very thin polymer films. High data rates are achieved by parallel operation of large two-dimensional arrays of cantilevers that can be batch fabricated by silicon-surface micromachining techniques. The very high precision required to navigate the storage medium relative to the array of probes is achieved by microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based x and y actuators. The ultrahigh storage densities offered by probe-storage devices pose a significant challenge in terms of both control design for nanoscale positioning and read-channel design for reliable signal detection. Moreover, the high parallelism necessitates new dataflow architectures to ensure high performance and reliability of the system. In this paper, we present a small-scale prototype system of a storage device that we built based on scanning-probe technology. Experimental results of multiple sectors, recorded using multiple levers at 840 Gb/in2 and read back without errors, demonstrate the functionality of the prototype system. This is the first time a scanning-probe recording technology has reached this level of technical maturity, demonstrating the joint operation of all building blocks of a storage device.

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:52 ,  Issue: 4.5 )