Operating a hard disk drive is as complex as keeping a superfast car on the road. Read/write heads within the hard disk must process a huge amount of data at high speed. Controlling the motion of the slider housing these heads is crucial: if the slider crashes, it could destroy the hard disk.
The triangular mesh used to model the properties of a hard disk read/write head. The colors represent the pressure profile of the head; red indicates areas of high pressure.
© 2013 A*STAR Data Storage Institute
Researchers at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute (DSI) in Singapore have now developed a computational algorithm for studying the properties of the slider in a hard drive that is faster than existing algorithms1. Instead of taking days to finish, dynamic simulations using the new algorithm take only an hour, notes Wei Hua from the research team. “It greatly improves our simulation and research abilities,” he adds.
A read head typically moves across the disk surface of a hard drive at more than 7,000 revolutions per minute. The flying height of this fast-moving head is as low as 2 nanometers from the surface of the disk, some 50,000 times less than the width of a human hair. Controlling this motion is not easy, notes Hua. “The slider housing the read/write head flies on the fast-rotating hard drive disk, owing to a very thin layer of air. This air bearing pushes the slider upward, while a suspension bearing pushes the slider down toward the disk.”
Thermal effects control the distance of the head to the surface when it is being pushed down. To understand these effects, and other factors that control disk and head movements at high speed, fine-grained computer simulations are necessary.
Hua and co-workers expanded the DSI’s ABSolution air bearing simulation software for faster and more precise modeling. Instead of dividing the hard drive slider into a structured rectangular mesh typically used to aid calculations, the researchers used an unstructured triangular mesh that accurately captures the geometry of the read/write head (see image). Moreover, the algorithm better implements the dynamic effects that occur in drive heads, meaning that overall the code works faster and more efficiently.
This modeling software should prove useful in the future development of drive heads, Hua notes. Modeling the interaction between the slider and the rest of the drive is also important. “Influences such as those from the air suspension and disk effects are now being considered,” he explains. Hua and co-workers will use the improved algorithm to model slider properties that were almost impossible to simulate using the previous versions.
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute
Hua, W., Yu, S., Zhou, W. & Myo, K. S. A fast implicit algorithm for time-dependent dynamic simulations of air bearing sliders. Journal of Tribology 134, 031901 (2012).
Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik
Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy