A Caltech Library Service

Silicon microstructures and microactuators for compact computer disk drives

Miu, Denny K. and Tai, Yu-Chong (1995) Silicon microstructures and microactuators for compact computer disk drives. In: Proceedings of IEEE 14th Symposium on Mass Storage Systems. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 350-356. ISBN 0-8186-7064-9.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


In 1956, IBM shipped the first magnetic rigid disk drive. It was 24 inches in diameter; fitted inside a box the size of an industrial size refrigerator; stored 5 megabytes, and sold for tens of thousands of dollars. In 1983, Seagate shipped the first magnetic disk drive for the PC market which was 5-1/4 inch in diameter; fitted in a box half the size of a shoebox, also stored 5 megabytes and sold for less than $1,500. In 1992, HP shipped what is still the world’s smallest commercially available rigid disk drive, which is 1.3 inch in diameter; fitted in a box the size of a matchbook, stored 20 megabytes, and sold for $150. In terms of both areal storage density and cost per megabyte, this progress has far exceeded the so-called 10-10 rules of the semiconductor industry, which is an order of magnitude improvement in 10 years. In fact, since 1991 magnetic recording disk drives have doubled in performance every eighteen months, and as a result, have maintained at least an order of magnitude cost advantage over solid-state memory and have long since surpassed optical recording in terms of storage density and capacity per drive. It is projected that in another five years, the industry will be capable of delivering credit-card size gigabyte disk drive cartridges at about 10 cents per megabyte. At UCLA and Caltech, we believe silicon micromachining technology will play an important role in the fabrication of high-bandwidth, servo-controlled miniaturized microelectromechanical components for such super-high-capacity, supercompact computer disk drives. For the past four years, we have been collaborating on a number of industry and government supported joint research projects to develop the necessary technology building blocks for design of a low-cost integrated drive of the future. These efforts include the design and fabrication of a silicon read/write head, microgimbaled with integrated electrical and mechanical interconnects, which targets the next-generation, 30 percent form factor pico-sliders. The efforts also include an electromagnetic piggyback planar microactuator for super high-track-density applications. Both efforts utilize state-of-the-art silicon micromachining fabrication techniques.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Tai, Yu-Chong0000-0001-8529-106X
Additional Information:© 1995 IEEE. The work was conducted at the Caltech Micromachining Laboratory with support from the University of California MICRO program and matching funds from Applied Magnetics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Magnacomp, Maxtor, Quantum, Read-Rite and Seagate Technology Corporations, and the National Storage Industry Consortium (NSIC). The results are the combined efforts of our many colleagues, Amish Desai, Wen Hsieh, Raanan Miller, Weilong Tang, Viktoria Temesvary, and Shuyun Wu.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Applied MagneticsUNSPECIFIED
Seagate TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
National Storage Industry ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190326-073205260
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D. K. Miu and Yu-Chong Tai, "Silicon microstructures and microactuators for compact computer disk drives," Proceedings of IEEE 14th Symposium on Mass Storage Systems, Monterey, CA, USA, 1995, pp. 350-356. doi: 10.1109/MASS.1995.528244
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94136
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Mar 2019 15:30
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:03

Repository Staff Only: item control page