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Report on the 1st NAPMRC - January 7-9, 2002

1st North American Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference

January 7, 2002 January 9, 2002
Coral Gables, Florida

The 1st North American Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference (NAPMRC) debuted in Coral Gables, Florida on January 7-9, 2002. The object of the conference was a highly focused review of the latest progress in the development of perpendicular magnetic recording as well as the discussion of the advantages, challenges, and timing of the transition to the perpendicular magnetic recording technology. Planned as a highly selective meeting with the purpose to attract the key representatives of the data storage industry and academia, the conference assembled together a forum of over 100 delegates representing over 40 key industrial and academic organizations involved in magnetic data storage from the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland, and France.

The 1st NAPMRC convened during the vitally critical times to the future advances in data storage technologies. As conventional recording schemes employed today are rapidly approaching the fundamental (superparamagnetic) limit in areal bit density, above which the recording data become unstable, it is believed that perpendicular magnetic recording paradigm will enable to sustain the current great strides in technological advances for the next several generations of mass storage solutions. The technology is technically the closest alternative to conventional longitudinal recording, while it is capable of extending the superparamagnetic density limit beyond what is achievable with longitudinal recording.

NAPMRC had a single session format with 34 invited talks given by the leaders in magnetic data storage. To ensure broad representation of the industry and academia, the conference program was developed in close collaboration with a 30 member Advisory Board, which included the top leaders from the key academic and industrial organizations from around the world. The conference covered the following major topics pertinent to successful implementation of the technology:

Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Media
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Heads
Theory of Perpendicular Recording
Measurement and Characterization
Channels for Perpendicular Recording
Perpendicular Recording Systems and System Integration

An additional session exclusively devoted to the discussion of the future of magnetic data storage with the emphasis on the role of perpendicular recording, concluded the conference. A number of excellent contributed papers were presented at the special poster session.

The highest quality of the technical program was acknowledged by the majority of the NAPMRC participants. As expressed by Jack Judy, the Director of the Center for Micromagnetics and Information Technologies of the University of Minnesota, the conference resonated on the background of the recent developments in the data storage industry.

Among the highlights of the NAPMRC was an overview of the history of perpendicular recording given by Shun-ichi Iwasaki of Tohoku Institute of Technology, Japan. Professor Iwasaki is widely accepted as the Inventor of perpendicular magnetic recording. Steven Lambert of Maxtor Corporation presented an overview of a fully functional prototype of a 31Gbit/in2 hard-drive based on perpendicular recording developed by Maxtor Corporation. The Maxtor team successfully ran a server operating system on the developed hard-drive for one month. A number of presentations (Naoki Honda of AIT, Jack Judy of the University of Minnesota, Masaaki Futamoto of CRL Hitachi, Hiroaki Muraoka of Tohoku University, Mason Williams of IBM, Mike Mallary of Maxtor, Roger Wood of IBM) were devoted to the design guidelines and future prospects of perpendicular recording. The consensus was that the areal densities up to ~1Tbit/in2 are likely to be realized using perpendicular magnetic recording. Mark Kryder of Seagate Research gave an overall overview of the future of magnetic data storage including an account for the latest in heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and magnetic recording based on patterned media. It was suggested that the future technologies such as HAMR or recording on patterned media would be based on perpendicular recording due to a number of advantageous properties of perpendicular with respect to extremely high areal bit densities, thus making perpendicular recording not merely a temporary solution but rather a necessary basis for a number of future generations of magnetic data storage devices.

The invited papers will appear in the conference proceedings, which will be published in a July 2002 issue of IEEE Transactions on Magnetics.

The principal sponsor of the 1st NAPMRC is the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The conference was cosponsored/endorsed by

IEEE Magnetics Society
National Storage Industry Consortium
Materials Research Society

The NAPMRC was endorsed by the leading academic magnetic centers involved in magnetic data storage:

Center for Micromagnetics and Information Technologies (MINT) of the University of Minnesota
Center for Materials for Information Technology (MINT) of the University of Alabama
Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR) of the University of California in San Diego
Center for Research on Information Storage Materials (CRISM) of Stanford University
Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC) of Carnegie Mellon University.

Veeco Instruments Inc. provided partial financial support of the conference banquet.

The conference was organized and co-chaired by Sakhrat Khizroev and Dmitri Litvinov of Seagate Research. The local organizational support was provided by the faculty of the Department of Physics of the University of Miami represented by Joshua Cohn and Josef Ashkenazi. NAPMRC was honorary co-chaired by Shun-ichi Iwasaki of Tohoku Institute of Technology, Japan and by Stanley Charap of Carnegie Mellon University.

The next NAPMRC is tentatively scheduled for January 6-8, 2003. More information about the NAPMRC can be found at the conference web site at

Copyright NAPMRC - reprinted with permission of NAPMRC.

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