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Wednesday, April 10, 2002
IBM Technical Leaders Recognized For Pixie Dust, Thin-Film Media, Servo Technologies

With achievements in areal density and data access time, two IBM engineers are today joining the company's elite technical leaders in the rank of Distinguished Engineer (DE), a top IBM honor for technical achievement. Distinguished Engineers Mary Doerner and Mantle Yu have each spent the last quarter century advancing the future of hard disk drive technology, holding a combined 31 patents between them, with 21 additional patents pending. Doerner and Yu are among only 263 engineers out of IBM's 170,000 technical employees worldwide to hold the coveted title.

Mary Doerner's most notable contribution to IBM and the hard disk drive industry is her work to make IBM the first company to implement the magnetic alloy cobalt-platinum-chromium-boron (CoPtCrB) in a hard disk drive product. This patented alloy system is widely used in the industry today and allowed IBM products to lead in storage density for many years.

Doerner was also instrumental in the implementation of antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media also known as "pixie dust" in IBM products. The use of AFC media improves the stability of written data, allowing storage density to be increased beyond the limits of conventional media.

Mantle Yu is known throughout the industry for his work in advancing servo technology -- the software within hard disk drives that controls the speed and accuracy at which data is read and written. Yu's patented achievements in servo technology have enabled users to access data more quickly than ever before. In addition, higher accuracy of data reading and writing means more data can be squeezed onto a disk, resulting in higher data density and contributing to product miniaturization. Yu is also recognized for his work in making servo technology adaptive to individual drives and their operating conditions. This tailored effect allows for optimal operation of each individual drive whether it is run in a warm, mobile environment or cool in a stationary server/desktop environment. These technologies are broadly implemented by hard disk drive manufacturers today.

"Distinguished engineers like Mary Doerner and Mantle Yu are the people who push our company to ever-greater levels of technical achievement," said Nick Donofrio, IBM's senior vice president for Technology & Manufacturing.

"They're innovators in their own right, but also master implementers and integrators of the advanced technologies and services our customers depend on to stay ahead of the curve. Their talents, insights and contributions are crucial to our continued success."

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