IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section  

IEEE Magnetics Society

IEEE Magnetics Society
Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Meeting Presentation Summary

Joint Meeting with SCV Technology History Committee
The SCV Technology History Committee determined that this topic would be of interest to the SCV Section. Both this committee and the Magnetics Society Chapter lined up the panel of speakers.

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Western Digital, 1710 Automation Parkway, San Jose, CA
Directions and Map
Cookies, Conversation & Pizza too at 6:45 P.M.
Presentation at 7:30 P.M.

Reservations suggested; click here to RSVP if you plan to attend

An Informal Panel Discussion on the History of Magnetic Thin Film Recording Media

Chaired by Tom Coughlin
Coughlin Associates


    Tom Coughlin will moderate an informal discussion on the history of magnetic thin film magnetic recording disks with the founder of Komag as well as with other important Komag and magnetic hard disk drive industry participants. Join us for this rare opportunity to hear about Santa Clara Valley magnetic recording development from pioneers in the field.

Copy Of Presentations


Tu Chen Tom Yamashita Leonard Nanis Ed Murdock Tadashi Yogi
Photo of Tu Chen Photo of Tom Yamashita Photo of Leonard Nanis Photo of Ed Murdock Photo of Tadashi Yogi
Tu was co-founder & chairman of Komag from 1983 until his retirement in early 2000. In 1984 Komag was one of the first OEMs to ship a carbon overcoated sputtered magnetic medium disk to the HDD industry.
He started his career at IBM, Endicott, then Northrop, Los Angeles andn 1971 he joined Xerox PARC to work on the development of various magnetic recording materials. Tu was born in Taiwan and came to United States in 1961 to attend the University of Minnesota, where he obtained his PhD in materials science & engineering. See, My Personal Experiences In Founding Komag Inc.
Tom was CTO of Komag Inc. prior to $1.2B purchase by Western Digital in 2007. Developed many of the key components of hard disk media produced by Komag Inc. Holder of 24 issued patents on hard disk media technology. Over 50 technical publications, numerous invited talks at conferences and at universities. Expertise in magnetic thin film technology, deposition methods, hard overcoat and tribology. Len founded Grenex in 1982, one of the early thin film media suppliers; it was acquired by and became Seagate Magnetics.
He has almost 40 years experience in sputtering and plating metal films in the hard disk drive and other industries, including positions at Dastek and International Memories Corp. He is the inventor of the WAffle head, has patents on combining sputtering and electroless nickel plating and has organized several HDD symposia.
Len was awarded a Doctor of Engineering Science, Extractive Metallurgy, from Columbia University.
At Seagate for 19 years as Executive Director of Product Development Engineering and Advanced R&D and in other positions Ed led the development and integration engineering into new products of various cutting-edge technologies such as TMR & GMR heads and perpendicular recording. While at HP (12 years) he lead teams that developed a variety of thin film magnetic media, Dual Stripe Magnetoresistive (DSMR) heads and innovative tribological solutions. In 1985 HP shipped one of the first production HDDs incorporating sputtered magnetic media with a carbon overcoat. Ed has 16 patents and received his PhD in Physics from UC Davis. Tadashi is an HDD data storage technologist who started his career in IBM Research. In 1984 at Almaden he engaged in early development of Thin Film Disks, focusing on understanding the relationship between the sputter process, film microstructure and recording performance. This was a key component of IBM's 1989 demonstration of 1 Gb/in2 areal density. He then coordinated the introduction of thin film disks into eleven HDD products in IBM, Fujisawa. Subsequently he has held senior technology management positions at Maxtor and Hitachi. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Panel Chair

Photo of Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin the founder of Coughlin Associates has over 30 years of magnetic recording engineering and engineering management experience at companies developing flexible tapes and floppy disc storage as well as rigid disks at such companies as Polaroid, Seagate Technology, Maxtor, Micropolis, Nashua Computer Products, Ampex and SyQuest. He is the chairman and organizer of the annual Storage Visions and Creative Storage Conferences, well known in the data storage and storage applications industries. He is also the chairman of the annual Flash Memory Summit Tom has a Bachelors degree in Physics and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan.



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