To achieve the targeted areal density of 10 Gb/in2, a highly sensitive read head with symmetric and sharp sensitivity distribution is a key requirement. In this study, the off-track error rate performance was investigated using a newly developed narrow track spin-valve GMR head. The microtrack profile showed the sharp and symmetric sensitivity distribution with an effective read track width of 1. 2 μm. The minimum error rate of 3. 0e-8 was achieved at 200 kBPI with 8/9 PR4-ML signal processing. The slope of the error rate at the track edge was found to be steeper than that of conventional MR head. The results indicated that the symmetric and sharp sensitivity distribution contributed to keep the off-track capability large at high track density. The intrinsically sharp and symmetric sensitivity distribution of the spin-valve head plays a great role for coming generations of 10 Gb/in2 recording density.
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