Our goal is to demonstrate the technology for a rewriteable data storage cache capable of recording densities greater than 10 GB/cm2, utilizing an array of CMOS micromachined tip actuators, a single MEMS-based media actuator, and magnetic recording technology. During the course of this project, the Carnegie Mellon post-CMOS micromachining technology will be augmented, with specific emphasis on compatibility with materials and devices required for MEMS-based magnetic recording.
This data storage cache is intended for use in distributed sensing and actuation environments, to enable the caching and processing of sensor data between bursts of communication between the distributed elements. The key features necessary for the communications data cache -- high capacity, low power, and miniature size -- dictate a novel approach to the data storage system. The proposed work is the first comprehensive research that brings together expertise in MEMS, magnetic probe recording, and electronic system design to engineer and implement a complete working MEMS-based magnetic data-storage prototype.