Toshiba Delivers World’s First Demonstration of Substantial Improvements in HDD Recording Performance with Microwave-Assisted Switching – Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAS-MAMR)

TOKYO – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – The Toshiba group announced the world’s first demonstration* 1 Improved hard disk recording performance with Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAS-MAMR), a next-generation magnetic recording technology. The demonstration confirms that the technology offers substantial storage capacity gains, and Toshiba is now aiming to achieve early commercialization of proximity hard drives with capacities greater than 30TB.

Toshiba is putting considerable R&D effort into MAMR, a revolutionary technology that increases recording density on hard disk drives. In 2021, the company began shipping 18TB hard drives that apply MAMR flow control (FC-MAMR ™)* 2, which uses rotational torque oscillators to facilitate recording. MAS-MAMR is expected to improve recording density beyond that of FC-MAMR ™ by locally exposing microwaves to recording media. However, this has not been demonstrated in practice until the recent demonstration.

To prove the fundamental superiority of MAS-MAMR, Toshiba promoted its development with Showa Denko KK (SDK), a manufacturer of hard drive media, and TDK Corporation (TDK), a manufacturer of hard drive heads. This three-way cooperation has recently borne fruit in demonstrating the improved recording performance of the MAS-MAMR.

Toshiba will announce the details of the new torque oscillator and its oscillation characteristics at the joint MMM-INTERMAG 2022, an international conference scheduled for January 10-14, 2022.

Development context

Storing digital data in data centers is a pillar of the modern information infrastructure supporting digitization and digital transformation, and is now more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for continued storage is at an explosive rate, and the market for high-capacity proximity hard drives, the workhorses of traditional and cloud-scale data centers, is expected to reach $ 17.5 billion in 2025. .* 3. This changing need for storage devices is also fueling demand for further increases in hard drive capacity.

Any attempt to increase the recording density of a hard disk must reconcile a trilemma of three contradictory objectives: to miniaturize the magnetic grains on the recording medium; achieve thermally stable magnetic grains; and ensure sufficient recording performance. The recording medium is covered with a layer of fine magnetic grains which retain information according to the direction of their magnetization. Although the recording density can be improved by miniaturizing the recording bit on the recording medium, this requires even smaller magnetic grains, which reduces the thermal stability of their magnetization. Loss of thermal stability can lead to data loss.

Increasing thermal stability with increasing recording density requires a material with higher “coercivity” which can maintain magnetization. However, a higher coercivity makes it difficult for the recording head to generate the sufficient magnetic field for recording. To overcome this, a new generation magnetic recording technology is needed in which the recording is assisted by external energy.

Progress is being made in the R&D of next generation magnetic recording technology to overcome this trilemma. While MAS-MAMR to help use microwaves should dramatically improve recording density in theory, confirmation of the effect of microwave-assisted switching (MAS-MAMR effect) on recording conditions and Improved recording performance with MAS-MAMR has not yet been demonstrated.

Technology features

Toshiba invented a “bi-oscillation-type torque oscillator device (double FGL STO)” which irradiates microwaves through a two-layer field-generating layer. The “double FGL STO” generates microwaves efficiently, with less current and at focused points. Built-in a recording head, it can improve recording performance with MAS-MAMR.

As part of the MAS-MAMR demonstration work, TDK developed new recording heads equipped with STO, SDK developed new recording media, and Toshiba confirmed the stable oscillation of STOs in the new heads of registration.

Subsequently, Toshiba confirmed the MAS-MAMR effect by combining the new STOs, recording heads and recording media, and for the first time in the world demonstrated approximately 6dB improvement in recording performance. with MAS-MAMR.* 4. This technology enables large capacity hard drives over 30TB to be realized. By demonstration, MAS-MAMR has taken a big step forward as next-generation convenient magnetic recording technology that can dramatically improve the density of data. ‘registration.

Future prospects

Toshiba now aims to achieve early commercialization of proximity hard drives with capacities greater than 30TB with MAS-MAMR technology. The company will continue to develop MAMR technologies (FC-MAMR ™ and MAS-MAMR) and expand the capacity of proximity hard drives. Toshiba will also continue to develop Thermal Assisted Magnetic Recording (TAMR) technology in parallel, to meet a wide range of storage needs.

* 1 Toshiba Research, as of December 24, 2021

* 2 FC-MAMR ™: MAMR flow control. FC-MAMR ™ is a trademark of Toshiba Devices & Storage Corporation

* 3 Source: Techno-System Research Co., Ltd. “Hard Drive Market Trend (Yearly)”, December 2021

* 4 Evaluate the crush characteristic.

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