News Column

Patent Issued for Head Wrap Procedure

July 15, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Bui, Nhan X. (Tucson, AZ); Gale, Ernest S. (Tucson, AZ); Hancock, Reed A. (Tucson, AZ); Tsuruta, Kazuhiro (Sagamihara, JP), filed on June 26, 2013, was published online on July 1, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8767336, is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to magnetic tape storage systems, and more specifically, this invention relates to methods for wrapping a multi-module head.

"Business, science and entertainment applications depend upon computers to process and record data, often with large volumes of the data being stored or transferred to nonvolatile storage media, such as magnetic discs, magnetic tape cartridges, optical disk cartridges, floppy diskettes, or floptical diskettes. Typically, magnetic tape is the most economical and convenient means of storing or archiving the data. Storage technology is continually pushed to increase storage capacity and storage reliability. Improvement in data storage densities in magnetic storage media, for example, has resulted from improved medium materials, improved magnetic read/write heads, improved error correction techniques and decreased areal bit sizes. The data capacity of half-inch magnetic tape, for example, is now measured in thousands of gigabytes on 2000 or more data tracks.

"An important and continuing goal in the data storage industry is that of increasing the density of data stored on a medium. For tape storage systems, that goal has led to increasing the track density on recording tape, and decreasing the thickness of the magnetic tape medium. However, the development of higher performance tape drive systems has created various problems in the design and manufacture of a tape head assembly for use in such systems.

"In a tape drive system, magnetic tape is moved over the surface of the tape head at high speed. This movement generally entrains a film of air between the head and tape. Usually the tape head is designed to minimize the spacing between the head and the tape. The spacing between the magnetic head and the magnetic tape is crucial so that the recording gaps of the transducers, which are the source of the magnetic recording flux, are in near contact with the tape to effect efficient signal transfer, and so that the read element is in near contact with the tape to provide effective coupling of the magnetic field from the tape to the read element.

"Typical tape heads used, for example, in the Linear Tape Open (LTO) standard are designed such that the tape must properly wrap the head to establish the proper head to tape distance. This is accomplished by using a skiving edge on the head to bleed off and prevent air from getting between the head and tape which would disrupt increase the head-tape spacing. Thus, for proper functionality, the tape must be properly wrapped around the tape head at precise angles with tight angle tolerances."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A method according to one embodiment includes detecting a signal originating from at least one reader of a first outer module of a head as a tape passes thereacross, the head having at least the first outer module and a second outer modules positioned on opposite sides of an inner module and aligned with the inner module in a direction of tape travel thereacross. A first guide positioned in front of the first outer module is moved in a direction towards the tape until the signal detected by the first outer module decreases. The first guide is moved in a direction away from the tape to a position to set about a predetermined wrap angle of the tape relative to the first outer module after the signal detected by the first outer module decreases.

"A method according to another embodiment includes tracking a magnetic tape moving in a first direction using at least one reader of an inner module of a head having at least the inner module and first and second outer modules positioned on opposite sides of the inner module and aligned with the inner module in a direction of tape travel thereacross, wherein the first outer module is a leading module when the tape travels in the first direction. A signal originating from at least one reader of the first outer module is detected as the tape passes thereacross. A first guide positioned in front of the first outer module is moved to a position to set about a predetermined wrap angle of the tape relative to the first outer module based on a signal detected by the first outer module.

"A method according to yet another embodiment includes determining that a signal detected by at least one reader of a first outer module decreases by a predetermined amount as a first guide of a tape drive positioned in front of the first outer module is moved in a direction towards the tape, the tape drive having at least the first outer module and a second outer modules positioned on opposite sides of an inner module and aligned with the inner module in a direction of tape travel thereacross. A determination is made as to when the signal detected by the first outer module increases when the first guide of the tape drive positioned in front of the first outer module is moved in a direction away from the tape towards a position that sets about a predetermined wrap angle of the tape relative to the first outer module. The first guide is fixed at the position that sets the predetermined wrap angle based on the determination of when the signal detected by the first module increases.

"Other aspects and embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention."

For more information, see this patent: Bui, Nhan X.; Gale, Ernest S.; Hancock, Reed A.; Tsuruta, Kazuhiro. Head Wrap Procedure. U.S. Patent Number 8767336, filed June 26, 2013, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8767336.PN.&OS=PN/8767336RS=PN/8767336

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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