Tuesday, January 27, 2009

US Patent 7480981 - Microelectromechanical disk drive


Magnetic disk drives allow for high data storage but miniaturization of the entire disk drive itself has been limited by requirements of high mechanical control. This patent from Sony teaches a solution based on microelectromechanical disk drives which may eventually compete with flash memory for portable electronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) system, the method comprising:

forming a substrate including a plurality of rotor elements and at least one layer of magnetic material, the rotor elements being connected to respective stator elements;

cutting the substrate to isolate the rotor elements to form corresponding MEMS rotors, each supporting at least one film of magnetic material;

forming a circular pattern of V-shaped grooves in the MEMS rotors such that, upon rotation of the MEMS rotors, positive air pressure reduces frictional contact between the MEMS rotors and the stator; and

providing magnetic heads for respective ones of the MEMS rotors, for communicating data with the magnetic material.