CHAPTER 17

The Physical Layer

This chapter presents a high-level overview of magnetic recording and the major physical components of a disk drive. Continual research and development have been widely conducted for the past 50 years in the many disciplines involved, driven by intense competition not only among disk drive makers, but also from other competing technologies eager to supplant disk drives as the low-cost storage technology of choice. The goal of this chapter is to provide enough general background knowledge of how a disk drive is created so as to facilitate the understanding of other chapters to follow.

The chapter is divided into three main sections. Section 17.1 is a brief review of the physics behind magnetic recording. Section ...

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