Seagate Technology, Bloomington

Award Category: Advanced Manufacturing
Seagate Technology, Bloomington

The most complex component of a hard drive is its magnetic recording head, the making of which requires atomic-level precision. Seagate manufactures the recording heads for its hard drives in Bloomington. The advanced techniques used in Seagate’s recording head fabrication are also used in manufacturing nanotechnology micro-electromechanical devices. Seagate’s devices are routinely produced with an expected dimension of 80 nanometers, varying only by plus or minus 6 nanometers—a difference in width of 24 atoms. This level of precision is maintained through 868 manufacturing steps across 274 process tools and 331 operators, in fabrication that takes 72 days.