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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 25, Number 5, Page 711 (1981)
25th Anniversary Issue
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Innovations in Disk File Manufacturing

by R. B. Mulvany, L. H. Thompson
This paper discusses the important innovations in disk file manufacturing at IBM over the past twenty-five years. Technology advances in the key components of disk files—the magnetic read/write head, its air bearing support, and the disk substrate and magnetic coating—have permitted almost four orders of magnitude increase in areal recording density since the first disk file, the IBM 350, was shipped in 1957. Manufacturing capability for these basic recording technology components has been the key to realizing the cost/performance promise of each new technology. The evolution of this manufacturing capability is discussed with an emphasis on important innovations in processes, materials, tools, and testing techniques.
Related Subjects: Diskette drives; Magnetic head-disk interaction; Storage (computer) devices and systems