IEEE Transactions on Magnetics

317 Gb/in2Recording Areal Density on Strontium Ferrite Tape

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The recording performance of a new prototype magnetic tape based on perpendicularly oriented strontium ferrite particles is investigated using a 29 nm wide tunneling magnetoresistive reader. At a linear density of 702 kbpi, a post-detection byte-error rate (BER) of 2.8e-2 is demonstrated based on measured recording data and a software read channel. The read channel uses a 64-state implementation of an extended version of a data-dependent noise-predictive maximum-likelihood detection scheme that tracks the first- and second-order statistics of the data-dependent noise. At the demonstrated post-detection BER, a post-error-correction-coding BER of less than 1e-20 can be achieved using an iterative decoding architecture. To facilitate aggressive track-density scaling, we made multiple advances in the area of track following. First, we developed a new timing-based servo pattern and implemented a novel quad channel averaging scheme. Second, we developed a new field programmable gate array prototyping platform to enable the implementation of quad channel averaging. Third, we enhanced our low disturbance tape transport with a pair of 20 mm diameter air bearing tape guides and a prototype track-following actuator. Fourth, we developed a novel low friction tape head and, finally, we designed a set of tape speed optimized track-following controllers using the model-based $H_{\infty }$ design framework. Combining these technologies, we achieved a position error signal (PES) characterized by a standard deviation ≤ 3.18 nm over a tape speed range of 1.2-4.1 m/s. This magnitude of PES in combination with a 29 nm wide reader enables reliable recording at a track width of 56.2 nm corresponding to a track density of 451.9 ktpi, for an equivalent areal density of 317.3 Gb/in2.