Western Dig opens new R&D centre
Putting the HAMR down
Western Digital has opened a new research and development centre in Singapore and we detect some interesting bits of of HAMR disk drive technology coming out of it.
Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is one suggested future technology for increasing disk drive capacity through having higher area densities. It depends upon being able to focus a temperature-raising laser on small and regular grains of magnetic material amongst other things, so as to change the magnetic polarity of the grains.
WD's new Singapore R&D centre will have some 65 research scientists in the next couple of years and it will leverage the local A*STAR Data Storage Institute "In the development of advanced hard drive technologies" as it focuses on "the development of future solutions for hard drive recording heads and media, system design and manufacturing processes".
A look at the A*STAR website shows HAMR-related projects. There is one on longitudinally polarised light  providing a better means of heating grains in HAMR media. The text mentions Seagate research in the area.
A second project  looked at a way of making HAMR media with small and regular grain sizes and a silver heat sink underneath them.
You do get the feeling that the HDD industry is coalescing around HAMR as the follow-on technology to today's perpendicular magnetic recording and positioning bit-patterned media as a follow-on to HAMR. ®