Feeds

Bit-patterned disk media moving closer

Tiny, insulated bits may be next big thing

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.