The patent's assignee for patent number 8630057 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A hard-disk drive (HDD) is a non-volatile storage device that is housed in a protective enclosure and stores digitally encoded data on one or more circular disks having magnetic surfaces (a disk may also be referred to as a platter). When an HDD is in operation, each magnetic-recording disk is rapidly rotated by a spindle system. Data is read from and written to a magnetic-recording disk using a read/write head (hereinafter 'head') which is positioned over a specific location of a disk by an actuator.
"A head uses a magnetic field to read data from and write data to the surface of a magnetic-recording disk. As a magnetic dipole field decreases rapidly with distance from a magnetic pole, the distance between a head and the surface of a magnetic-recording disk must be tightly controlled. An actuator relies on suspension's force on the head to provide the proper distance between the head and the surface of the magnetic-recording disk while the magnetic-recording disk rotates. A head therefore is said to 'fly' over the surface of the magnetic-recording disk.
"It is important to maintain the optimal distance between the head and the disk while performing read/write operations. If the head flies too low, then the head could wear, pick up lubricant or other debris, or make physical contact with the disk. Inadvertent contact between the head and the disk during a read/write operation can result in read/write errors or damage to either the head or the disk. Too high a fly height may also result in read/write errors and may frustrate efforts to achieve a consistent fly height. Any electrical potential difference between the head and the disk may also affect the optimal fly height; therefore, it is advantageous to determine this inherent electrical potential as part of an approach for maintaining a particular fly height."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Approaches described herein teach devices and methods for measuring the contact potential between head and disk interfaces within a hard-disk drive.
"In an embodiment, a hard disk drive comprising a head attached to a slider, a disk rotatably mounted on a spindle, a drive motor having a motor shaft attached to the spindle for rotating the disk, a voice-coil motor configured to move the head to access portions of the disk, and one or more electronic components. The electronic components are configured to apply a range of electric current to the slider in discrete increments, and for each increment, measure the amount of electric current supplied to the thermal fly height control (TFC) that results in contact between the head and the disk. The electronic components then determine the increment of electric current delivered to the slider at which the amount of electric current supplied to a TFC that results in contact between the head and the disk is maximized and based on this determination, calculate the contact potential.
"In an embodiment, a hard disk drive comprising a head attached to a slider, a disk rotatably mounted on a spindle, a drive motor having a motor shaft attached to the spindle for rotating the disk, a voice-coil motor configured to move the head to access portions of the disk, and one or more electronic components. The electronic components are configured to apply a range of electric current to the slider in discrete increments, where the slider is communicatively coupled to a TFC. The TFC is actuated while applying the range of electric current, and the touchdown power (TDP) is measured at each increment of the electric current, and the increment of the electric current at which the TDP is highest is identified and applied on a continuous basis to the slider during operation of the drive.
"In an embodiment, a method is provided where a range of electric current is applied to a slider in a hard-disk drive in discrete increments. At each increment, the amount of electric current supplied to a thermal fly height control (TFC) that results in contact between a head and a disk of the hard-disk drive is measured, wherein the slider and the head are coupled. Then, a determination is made of the increment of electric current delivered to the slider at which the amount of electric current supplied to the TFC that results in contact between the head and the disk is maximized, and a calculation is made of a contact potential between the slider and the disk based on this determination.
"Embodiments discussed in the Summary of the Invention section are not meant to suggest, describe, or teach all the embodiments discussed herein. Thus, embodiments of the invention may contain additional or different features than those discussed in this section."
For additional information on this patent, see: Murthy,
Keywords for this news article include: HGST Netherlands B.V, Electronic Components.
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