In recent years, the stability of recorded data against thermal decay has become an important criterion for judging the performance of magnetic recording systems. Continued growth of storage densities in the presence of thermally activated behaviour, often called the `superparamagnetic effect', requires new innovations in the recording system in general, and the recording media, in particular. This paper reviews some of the recent advances in recording media (e.g. oriented and antiferromagnetically coupled media) that have helped magnetic recording to maintain the areal density growth rate. However, more innovations and novel architectures are needed for the solutions of tomorrow. Among the more promising media approaches, which are discussed in this paper, are perpendicular, patterned and self-assembled nanoparticle media. Additionally, thermally assisted recording is also reviewed as it combines good writeability with high thermal stability.
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