Winchester technology

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Winchester technology The name given to the design approach used in the IBM 3340 disk drive, which was introduced in 1973. It demonstrated a significant advance in technology, allowing an increase in recording density to 300 tracks per inch and 5600 bits per inch. The technology has been adopted by many manufacturers.

The read/write heads and the carriage assembly that supports them are enclosed with the disks in a hermetically sealed enclosure called a data module. When the data module is mounted in the drive unit it is automatically coupled to a system that supplies it with filtered cooling air. An entirely new head design was also introduced (see read/write head). The surface of the disk has an oxide coating of only 1.12 micrometers, compared to 4.7 μm of previous designs, and a lubricant coating to prevent damage during head take-off and landings.

Most recent designs using aspects of Winchester technology have the disk pack permanently fixed within the drive. The capacity of these disks ranges from a few tens of megabytes to approaching a gigabyte.