Feeds

Bit-patterned disk media moving closer

Tiny, insulated bits may be next big thing

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Intevac, a maker of disk drive media manufacturing machines, has revealed that it has received an order for two bit-patterned media production systems from an unnamed client, possibly signalling a recovery in HDD markets and an industry swing towards bit-patterned technology.

Current hard disk drives use a perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology in which magnetised bits are created with a vertical axis and are packed together in tracks running around the disk's surface. There has to be a degree of separation between bits and between tracks, so that the magnetism of a bit can be picked up by the read head reliably and written properly without interfering with neighbouring bits.

Increasing areal density with PMR becomes harder as the bits shrink and are placed closer together. Bit-patterning involves keeping the vertical orientation of the bits, shrinking them, and surrounding them with insulating material to isolate their magnetism and prevent leakage to or from surrounding bits. As such it can be used to increase areal density without compromising each bit's magnetism and readability.

Intevac, which says it is the leading supplier of magnetic media processing systems to the hard disk industry, supplies a 200 Lean Gen II magnetic media deposition system. This hard disk sputtering machine is in use today to create PMR media. The Lean 200 can have from four to 24 process stations and is extendable, so that it can be used for successive generations of media processing.

The company has just received an order for two of these from an unnamed client. This would presumably be either Hitachi GST, Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba, or Western Digital. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers says: "The deposition systems are designed for Bit Patterned Media."

Intevac saw increased sales of its systems as HDD suppliers geared up for PMR media production from mid-2005 to the end of 2006, with sales generally declining after that. We might be seeing signs of an uptick here, both in terms of HDD demand generally and in the transition to bit-patterned media.

Intevac president and CEO, Kevin Fairburn, said this was a capacity-driven order and: "The upswing in demand for hard drives has led to heightened levels of media capacity utilisation." Delivery is expected before the end of the year. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.