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Data Storage Systems Center



INSIC, DSSC Sponsor Laser Workshop Sept. 16

August 6, 2009

The Information Storage Industry Consortium (INSIC) and Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC) at Carnegie Mellon University will co-sponsor a workshop on a light-delivery technique for heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) on Wednesday, Sept. 16, on the Carnegie Mellon campus in Pittsburgh.

Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) is a technology intended to extend magnetic recording by using localized heating of the medium — in addition to a magnetic field — for writing. This heat may be delivered in the form of optical power, and its source is likely to be one or more solid-state laser diodes incorporated into the drive. If this HDD technology becomes widespread, it will create a new demand for hundreds of millions of laser diodes per year.

The daylong light-delivery workshop aims to bring together technology experts from both the laser diode and hard disk drive industries to discuss how to most effectively integrate this laser diode into a hard disk drive in heat assisted magnetic recording. While speculation abounds on the issue, researchers agree that the most viable or optimum option involves a much more intimate integration than simply "gluing" a laser diode somewhere inside a hard disk drive. And with some industry experts asserting that commercialization of HAMR technology in HDDs is just two years away, the development of the actual light delivery scheme is absolutely overdue — and cannot be done without the involvement of the laser diode industry.

The HAMR light delivery workshop will include a series of speakers in a morning session designed to educate attendees on HDD industry objectives, and will be followed by an afternoon of structured discussion. The outcome of the workshop will be a document describing straw-man concepts for diode integration in a drive, and the pros and cons of each concept. This document will also attempt to summarize the workshop discussion and capture the major unresolved issues in laser diodes for HAMR.

All workshop attendees are invited to remain at Carnegie Mellon for the DSSC's Fall Technical Review on Thursday, Sept. 17. Held twice each year, the center's technical reviews provide an opportunity for the DSSC to showcase its research for the industry it serves through faculty and student presentations, poster sessions, and meetings with corporate affiliates. The review will focus on research and technology development for present and future hard disk drives, including research on HAMR. For a complete agenda, visit

All meals will be provided as part of the HAMR light delivery workshop, so registration is required. To register, visit and check the workshop option. For more information about the workshop, contact Matt Koeske ( or Susie Cribbs (, or visit

Data Storage Systems Center / Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 / Phone: 412-268-6600 / Fax: 412-268-3497