Artifact Details


Hard disk drive transition to thin film media oral history panel

Catalog Number






Argentina, Gil, Interviewee
Bajorek, Christopher, Interviewee
Eltouhky, Atef, Interviewee
Iftikar, Syed, Interviewee
King, Francis, Interviewee
McCoy, James, Interviewee
Rosenshteyn, Yan, Cameraperson
Weiss, Joel, Interviewee

Computer History Museum

Mountain View, Calif.

39 p.


Syed Iftikar, Francis King, Gil Argentina, Joel Weiss, Jim McCoy and Atef Eltouhky played key roles in the data storage industry's move from particulate to thin film magnetic recording media. Thin film media rapidly accelerated the attainment of small form factor hard drives with very high data storage capacities. Such drives eventually became ubiquitous in engineering work stations, PCs, high performance servers, notebook computers and consumer products. This was a very challenging transition. The earliest film media (1981) were plated and failed to achieve adequate mechanical durability. Use of a sputtered carbon overcoat on the plated media (1982) eliminated this weakness. Adoption of sputtering to also make the magnetic layer (1984) enabled significant extendibility of film media and laid the foundation for today's products. Between 1982 and 2006 bit areal density on film media improved 8,000 fold, from 20 megabits per square inch to 160 gigabits per square inch.




Argentina, Gil; Eltouhky, Atef; Iftikar, Syed; King, Francis; McCoy, James; Weiss, Joel; IBM; SyQuest; Maxtor; Ampex Corporation; Seagate; Plated disk; Sputtered disk; Storage history

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number