IEEE Transactions on Magnetics

Performance of advanced data-detection schemes on barium-ferrite particulate media

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Noise-predictive maximum likelihood (NPML) detection has become state of the art in modern hard-disk drive (HDD) systems. Tape drive systems, in contrast, have typically adopted a traditional partial-response maximum likelihood detection approach, a fact that mainly reflects the large disparity in areal recording density between tape drives and HDDs. However, tape drive systems maintain a growth rate in areal recording density that is similar to that of HDDs, which implies that in future tape storage systems also advanced detection schemes need to be employed. This paper investigates the performance achieved by NPML, in particular, data-dependent NPML for data detection on barium-ferrite (BaFe) particulate tape media. Using actual readback waveforms, it is found that these advanced detection techniques are fairly efficient in improving the bit-error-rate performance of the read channel. Therefore, they enable, in combination with the BaFe media, a significant increase in linear recording density over that of state-of-the-art tape systems. © 2009 IEEE.