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Thermal Effects and Self-Heating Time Constant for GMR Recording Heads

[+] Author Affiliations
Lydia Baril, Erhard Schreck, Al Wallash

Maxtor Corporation, Milpitas, CA

Paper No. 2003-TRIB-338, pp. 59-64; 6 pages
  • STLE/ASME 2003 International Joint Tribology Conference
  • Magnetic Storage Symposium: Frontiers of Magnetic Hard Disk Drive Tribology and Technology
  • Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, October 26–29, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Tribology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3705-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3704-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


An understanding of the temperature of the GMR reader element used in disk drives during operating and non-operating condition is critical to optimize its performance. Self-heating and/or external heat sources will cause an increase in the temperature of the GMR sensor. In this work we concentrate on the self-heating effect due to bias current. Experiments that monitored the resistance change during very short current pulses showed that state-of-the-art GMR sensors have an extremely short time-constant that is less than 2 ns. This work is applicable to the current transients that the GMR head experiences during electrical crosstalk, electrostatic discharge and thermal asperities.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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