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HAMR Technology Advances Hard Disk Drive Industry

Materion Provides Enabling Materials

Unrelenting consumer desire for inexpensive data storage is the driving force behind the technological advances made by the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) industry over the past two decades. Now, clearly a mature technology, hard drive industry leaders are set to once again leap forward with stunning gains in areal density as a new technology called Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is brought to the consumer market.

How HAMR Functions

In Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording, a heat source is momentarily applied to the recording media (disk) to reduce the coercivity below the applied magnetic field of the recording head. This allows for higher anisotropy and smaller grains on the storage media. The heated zone is then rapidly cooled in the presence of the applied field orientation, encoding the recorded data. The heat source, typically a laser, generates just enough heat directly in front of the head during the writing process to allow the magnetic field of the head to “switch” the orientation of the grains within the media.

Hard Disk DriveGrowth in Data Storage

HAMR technology integrates a semiconductor laser onto a hard drive recording transducer. Gains in areal density are expected to grow from approximately 1 TB per square inch of recording disk space to 5 TB or greater. High capacity “state of the art” disk drives rated at 8 TB could leap to 30 TB as early as 2016 if current technology hurdles are overcome.

Materion Supports HAMR

We produce high purity thin film materials that enable advanced HAMR technologies to be developed. Materion has over two decades of experience serving the Hard Disk Drive community with quality products for storage applications. Our ability to deliver custom precious and non-precious materials and provide refining and recycling services for our customers is unsurpassed.  For more information, contact Matt Willson, Director of Marketing,