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Volume 97, Issue 7, 01 April 2005
- APPLIED PHYSICS REVIEWS-FOCUSED REVIEW
97(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1880449View Description Hide Description
For the past several years, perpendicular magnetic recording has been under intense scrutiny as the primary alternative to magnetic data storage technologies in place today. Major system components, write heads and media in particular, have been the subject of extensive studies. Less attention, however, has been devoted to the playback processes in perpendicular recording systems. The playback heads used in technology demonstrations remain largely unchanged from their longitudinal recording counterparts. It is an open question whether the longitudinal playback-head design is optimal for perpendicular recording. For example, application of longitudinal playback heads in perpendicular recording leads to undesirable phenomena associated with modified playback response, increased flying height sensitivity, adjacent track interference, and calls for major modifications of the existing read channels. The subject of this work is a detailed discussion of the playback physics, in perpendicular recording systems; the focus being to establish the design guidelines for optimized perpendicular playback heads, which are equivalent or superior in their performance characteristics to conventional shielded readers used in longitudinal recording. Conformal mapping is applied to demonstrate the playback wave form equivalency between a shielded and dual-pole readers when applied in longitudinal and perpendicular recording, respectively. Utilizing extensive three-dimensional modeling and reciprocity principle to evaluate the performance of various playback-head configurations, it is demonstrated that differential reader configurations possess advantageous playback characteristics, such as higher playback amplitude, improved spatial resolution, and reduced dependence on flight-height variations as compared to conventional shielded readers. Modified design of differential readers with a single magnetoresistive sensor is proposed to overcome the manufacturability issues associated with a conventional dual-sensor differential reader.