AIP Advances

TMR tape drive for a 15 TB cartridge

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This paper highlights the development of tunnel magnetoresistive (TMR) sensors for magnetic tape recording applications. This has led to the introduction of a tape drives supporting a 15 TB native tape cartridge, currently the highest capacity available. Underscoring this development is the fact that the TMR sensors must run in continual contact with the tape media. This is contrasted with modern hard disk drive (hdd) sensors, which fly above the disk platters. Various challenges encountered in developing and deploying TMR are presented. In addition, advances to the write transducer are also discussed. Lastly, the authors show that future density scaling for tape recording, unlike that for hdd, is not facing limits imposed by photolithography or superparamagnetic physics, suggesting that cartridge capacity improvements of 4 to 6x will be achieved in the next 4 to 8 years.