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Maxell and Tokyo Tech Promise 50 TB Tapes

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology announced that they have demonstrated a world-record areal density of 45.0 Gb/in2 in linear formatted perpendicular magnetic recording media.

According to the statement, this development may enable magnetic tapes to eventually store over 50 TB of data, which is roughly 33 times larger than current LTO Ultrium 5 technology.

For more information visit: www.maxell.com


Unedited press release follows:

Hitachi Maxell and Tokyo Institute of Technology Announce the Development of Ultra High Capacity Tape Media of a World-Record*1 Areal Density of 45.0 Gb/in2 *2 by Facing Targets Sputtering Method

— Allowing for over 50 TB capacity per a tape cartridge —

TOKYO, JAPAN, May 14, 2010 — Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and Tokyo Institute of Technology today jointly announced the collaboratively development of ultra high capacity tape media with ultra thin nano-structured magnetic film by using of facing targets sputtering method, as a funded program of “Collaborative Development of Innovative Seeds, Practicability Verification Stage”*3 of the Japan Science Technology Agency (JST). This joint team demonstrated a world-record*1 areal density of 45.0 Gb/in2 *2 in linear formatted perpendicular magnetic recording media. This latest technology*4 is a future technology after coated tape generations and enables over 50 TB capacity per a standard tape cartridge, which equals to 33 times*5 larger than a capacity of the latest LTO Ultrium 5 data cartridge.

Today, the usage of the data storage tape has expanded for the development of the information technology society, the electric archive in the public libraries and the public records offices, and the long-term storage of the business writing. Especially, the eco-friendly storage system, the so-called “green storage”, that lowers power consumption and considers the environment, is demanded recently.
The coating type medium, which is made by coating the magnetic powder on the base film, is commonly used as a tape medium for the data storage now. It was difficult to make a thin film with the magnetic particles of the size below 10 nm by the coating method though it was necessary to make the magnetic powder small to increase the areal recording density and to raise storage capacity a cartridge.

This time, the super-high density nanometer-sized magnetic thin film was achieved by an open innovation by the combination of Maxell’s tape medium design/evaluation technologies and the new thin-film formation method, “Facing Targets Sputtering method” that associate professor Shigeki Nakagawa et al. in the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Physical Electronics developed. It allows us to make the large-capacity magnetic tape by low-noise laminated soft magnetic underlayers*6 and the magnetic recording film with less 10 nm-diameter crystal grains.
When the areal recording density of the tape medium with this nanometer-structured super-high density magnetic thin film was evaluated, it was clarified of the possession of the areal recording density of 45.0 Gb/in2. When one makes the data tape cartridge of the common, linear formatted package by this medium, the capacity of the cartridge could be 50 TB or more.
Detailed results will be presented at the 9th Perpendicular Magnetic Recording Conference (PMRC 2010; May 17 – 19, 2010, Sendai, Japan).

Maxell and Tokyo Institute of Technology advance the technology of making to a large capacity of the magnetic tape medium by JST program “Collaborative Development of Innovative Seeds, Practicability Verification Stage”, and will tie to the creation of the innovation in the future.

*1 In linear format data tapes. Our examination in April, 2010.
*2 45.0Gb/in2 = 69.8Mb/mm2
*3 A funded program of “Collaborative Development of Innovative Seeds, Practicability Verification Stage” of the Japan Science Technology Agency (JST) aims to connect seeds candidate that is found out through industry’s viewpoint from basic research in universities, national and other public research institutes to innovation creation.
*4 Improved process and structure from former release on May 18, 2007.
*5 Assuming of the same width and length of tape medium as present major linear-formatted product, LTO Ultrium 5 data cartridge (non-compressed; 1.5 TB).
*6 Soft magnetic underlayer which assists perpendicular magnetic recording of nano-structured magnetic film.

・ Linear Tape-Open, LTO, the LTO Logo, Ultrium and the Ultrium Logo are registered trademarks of HP, IBM and Quantum in the US and other countries.

・Features

1.Formation of ultra high density nano-structured magnetic tape medium by facing targets sputtering
The nano-structured perpendicular magnetic recording film was successively formed on a 4.5ƒÊm-thick base film by facing targets sputtering method, which was invented by Tokyo Institute of Technology, at room temperature without a substrate cooling system. Fine composite films, which couldn’t be prepared by previously used magnetron sputtering methods, can be formed by facing targets sputtering, thanks to damage-less formation of films on a very thin plastic film with separated plasma from the film.
Also, the medium noise was dramatically reduced by a laminated structure of thin (10 nm thick) soft magnetic underlayers*6. Total thickness of films including a protective layer and underlayers was about 100 nm, that can contribute high-density recording.

<Schematic view of an ultra high capacity tape medium>

2.Achievement of a world-record*1 areal density
A linear recording density of 531 kbpi*7 and a track pitch of 300 nm without cross-track interference were confirmed by a specially designed tester, that enables precise head motion, when playback performance of the developed nano-structured magnetic tape medium was evaluated. The achieved areal density was 45.0 Gb/in2 *2 .

*1 In linear format data tapes. Our examination in April, 2010.
*2 45.0Gb/in2 = 69.8Mb/mm2
*6 Soft magnetic underlayer which assists perpendicular magnetic recording of nano-structured magnetic film.
*7 531kbpi = 20.9kb/mm

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