Performance Evaluation of an Adaptive RAM-DFE Read Channel

Philip S. Bednarz, Nicholas P. Sands, Cory S. Modlin, Susan C. Lin, Inkyu Lee, John M. Cioffi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The bit error rate (BER) performance of a 54 Mbps RAM-Decision feedback equalizer (RAM-DFE) read channel for magnetic hard-disk drives is evaluated. A controlled test environment allows comparison of measured BER to the performance predicted by a model of the equalizer and channel. Imple-mentational effects are found to degrade performance 0.6 dB in relation to theory. Measurements also show a 0.2 dB loss due to error propagation at 10-8 BER with the probability of a 30 bit burst, given a single decision error, to be less than 10-5. A simple Markov model of the error propagation process corroborates the findings. Finally, the RAM-DFE read channel is compared to a partial response maximum likelihood (PRML) detector of similar complexity on a spin-stand running with a thin-film head and media. The RAM-DFE exhibits a measured 25 fold decrease in BER over the PRML system on a wide range of densities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1127
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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