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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Construction and Operation of the Hard Disk | Hard Disk Read/Write Heads ]

Hard Disk Read/Write Head Technologies

There are several different technology families that have been employed to make hard disk read/write heads. Usually, to enable hard disk speed and capacity to progress to higher levels, adjustments must be made to the way the critical read/write head operation works. In some cases this amounts to minor tweaking of existing technologies, but major leaps forward usually require a breakthrough of some sort, once the existing technologies have been pushed to their limits.

Summary chart showing the basic design characteristics of most
of the read/write head designs used in PC hard disks.

Original image IBM Corporation
Image used with permission.

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