Data Storage Experts Gather for Fall Technical Review


October 19, 2010

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Data storage experts from across the globe gathered at Carnegie Mellon University on Tuesday, Sept. 28, for the Data Storage Systems Center's Fall Technical Review. Held twice each year, the center's reviews provide an opportunity for faculty and students at the university to share their latest research findings with representatives of the DSSC's industrial sponsor companies and other data storage professionals. This year, the review brought more than 80 attendees together for the opportunity to not only hear important research updates, but to also plan and strategize for the industry's future.

Since its founding more than 25 years ago, the DSSC has conducted leading-edge interdisciplinary research to help support and expand the ever-changing data storage industry. While the center focuses primarily on training students to be the next generation of information storage leaders, the DSSC also collaborates closely with industry to develop novel technologies for future hard disk drive technology.

"The DSSC's success has always been directly related to our personal interaction with industry. It's what sets us apart from others and makes us unique among research centers," said DSSC Director and ABB Professor of Engineering Jimmy Zhu. "This close relationship allows us to receive timely, constructive feedback from industry, which we use to tailor our research so that it offers the most scientific and industrial impact and relevance. In return, we provide our sponsors with an academic perspective that generates creative innovations to tomorrow's data storage problems."

At the September review, College of Engineering Dean Pradeep K. Khosla welcomed guests before turning the podium over to Zhu, who provided a "State of the DSSC" overview. During the talk, Zhu outlined work in the center's main research thrusts, provided a snapshot of the DSSC's financial situation, and shared goals for future work and research initiatives. Following Zhu's talk, DSSC faculty, students and post-docs presented 15 technical talks outlining the center's recent findings in topics like heat assisted magnetic recording, bit patterned magnetic recording, microwave assisted magnetic recording, perpendicular magnetic recording, and memory and solid state drives. Following the talks, everyone adjourned to the Holiday Inn for a poster session, reception and dinner, where Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering Garth Gibson delivered a talk on the future of data recording.

While the formal review ended Sept. 28, members of industry returned to campus on Wednesday, Sept. 29, for the Advisory Board Meeting, a feedback session with faculty, and individual meetings with DSSC faculty and students. Overall, industry praised the work presented at the review and the research efforts undertaken in the past six months.

"The DSSC faculty, students and post-docs do a great job of working closely with their members and understanding everything from the recording system down to the recording physics," said Mike Seigler, senior director for the Advanced Recording Heads group at Seagate. "The DSSC excels at summarizing and framing its work, and the corporate members look forward to seeing how the programs have advanced every six months - and trying to convince the students to join their companies when they complete their degrees!"

The Spring 2011 Technical Review is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 21 in the Singleton Room of Roberts Engineering Hall on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Watch for more information as the review approaches.

ECE Ph.D. student Stephen Powell discusses his research with HGST's Samuel Yuan.

Related People:

Garth Gibson

Pradeep Khosla

Jimmy Zhu

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