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11, NOVEMBER 2017 8205204

Iterative Channel Detection With LDPC Product

Code for Bit-Patterned Media Recording
Seongkwon Jeong and Jaejin Lee
Department of ICMC Convergence Technology, Soongsil University, Seoul 06978, South Korea

Because of the explosion in data growth, the requirement for high-density storage systems has increased. Bit-patterned media
recording (BPMR) is a candidate for the next-generation magnetic recording systems, and its many advantages facilitate the
achievement of recording densities of 1 Tb/in2 and beyond. In BPMR, each information bit is represented by a magnetic island;
however, due to the small spacings between the along- and across-track islands that are for the achievement of a high areal
density, severe extents of the inter-symbol interference and inter-track interference appear. These error factors degrade the system
performance of the recording system. In this paper, an iterative channel detection scheme with a low-density parity check (LDPC)
product code for which the extrinsic information between the soft output Viterbi algorithm and the LDPC product code is used for
the BPMR is proposed. For the improvement of the BPMR performance, the modified extrinsic information data are exploited.
Index Terms— Bit-patterned media recording (BPMR), burst error, low-density parity check (LDPC) code, product code.

I. I NTRODUCTION by the physical impact is not considered. When a physical

B IT-PATTERNED media recording (BPMR) is one of the

promising technologies for overcoming the limitation
of the conventional storage technology since it exhibits the
impact occurs on the storage, a storage system with high
recording densities has larger burst errors than the conventional
storage system. For example, when physical impacts of the
superparamagnetism phenomenon [1]. In BPMR, since each same size occur in the storage systems of 4 Tb/in2 and
bit is recorded in a single magnetic domain surrounded 1 Tb/in2 , respectively, for the 4 Tb/in2 system, this impact will
by a nonmagnetic region between the islands, BPMR can result in a very long burst error, in contrast to the 1 Tb/in2
accomplish high densities up to 4 Tb/in2 [2]. Furthermore, system. A burst detector and an error-correction capability
BPMR has the strength of an easy track search, a decreased are, therefore, needed for the long burst error [10]. To inhibit
nonlinear transition shift, and a simple timing recovery due the burst error, a product code was introduced by Elias [11]
to the nonmagnetic region. To achieve higher areal recording in 1954. The Reed–Solomon (RS) product code of DVD
densities, the period between the bit islands in the across track systems is mostly used for the correction of random and burst
and along track must be reduced. errors [12]. Besides the RS product, various product schemes
When the inter-island interval is decreased, 2-D interference have been proposed [13], [14].
that is constituted with inter-symbol interference (ISI) and The proposal of this paper is an iterative channel detection
inter-track interference (ITI) is increased. Also, media noise with the LDPC product code for which the extrinsic informa-
and written errors are problematic in terms of BPMR [3], [4]. tion between the SOVA and the LDPC is used for the BPMR
These error factors severely degrade the systemic performance to mitigate the ISI and ITI via the 2-D SOVA, and where the
of BPMR. From the perspective of signal processing, it is nec- product code is used to counteract the burst error.
essary to eliminate the errors by using appropriate equalizers, The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Section II,
detection algorithms, error-correction codes, and modulation the product code and the proposed model are explained and
codes. presented. Section III briefly explains the BPMR-channel
To mitigate the ISI and ITI, Nabavi and Kumar [5] proposed model and shows the simulation results. The conclusion is
a 2-D equalizer with optimized equalizer coefficients and a presented in Section IV.
partial-response (PR) target. An iterative 2-D equalizer that
is based on contraction mapping is introduced to reduce the II. P ROPOSED LDPC P RODUCT C ODE
ISI and ITI [6]. Also, to alleviate the ITI, a modified trellis A. Product Code
for BPMR was introduced [7]. In holographic data storage, To enhance the error-correction capability for the burst
to moderate the 2-D ISI, the 2-D soft output Viterbi algo- error, a product code comprises several error-correction codes.
rithm (SOVA) with low-density parity check (LDPC) codes In general, the product code is composed of the two error-
was proposed [8]. In addition, a high code rate modulation correction codes: the inner code c1 (n 1 , k1 ) and the outer
code was presented to avoid the ISI and ITI [9]. code c2 (n 2 , k2 ). Information bits are set in an array of
The above-mentioned schemes pay attention to the removal the k2 by the k1 . An inner code with the minimum number
of the ISI and ITI, but the burst error that is generated of parities is used to detect the burst error and correct most
Manuscript received March 8, 2017; accepted April 10, 2017. Date of random errors and short burst errors, but the inner code cannot
publication April 24, 2017; date of current version October 24, 2017. accurately decode the long burst error. To notify the location
Corresponding author: J. Lee (e-mail: of the long burst error, the inner decoder declares the erasure
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available
online at information and informs the location to the outer decoder
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TMAG.2017.2695654 with the maximum number of parities. The outer decoder can,
0018-9464 © 2017 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.
See for more information.

Fig. 1. Block diagram of the proposed iterative scheme for which the parallel concatenated LDPC product code is used.

therefore, correct as many errors as possible. For example, Then, this value em [ p,q] is added to the equalizer output
if the size of the 2-D encoded-bit array is 100×100 (10 000 b) value and processed by the 2-D SOVA.
and the burst-error size is 5 × 100 (500 b), when the burst 7) The procedure from 3) to 6) is repeated three times,
error has occurred, the inner decoder detects the burst error, and the vertical-direction LDPC decoder outputs the
declares the erasure to 5×100 b (the log-likelihood ratio (LLR) estimated data  a [ p,q].
of each bit is changed to 0), and informs the location to the For instance, the 2-D equalizer and the 2-D SOVA received
outer decoder. The product code can then correct the burst the channel output r [ p, q] and the equalizer output z[ p, q].
error using the erasure information. The two LDPC decoders use the same input data d[  p,q] from
the 2-D SOVA. After the horizontal LDPC decodes the data
B. Iterative Channel Detection With LDPC Product Code from the 2-D SOVA, the vertical LDPC receives the extrinsic
Fig. 1 shows the block diagram of the proposed parallel information eh1 [ p,q] from the horizontal LDPC. After the
concatenated LDPC product code, which is composed of two vertical LDPC decodes the data from the 2-D SOVA and
LDPC encoders of the horizontal and vertical directions. The the eh1 [ p,q], the horizontal LDPC receives the ev [ p,q] from
data flow of the block diagram is summarized as follows. the vertical LDPC. Then, the horizontal LDPC decodes the
data from the 2-D SOVA and the ev [ p,q] once again. After
1) The input data are encoded by the LDPC codes of
the completion of this iterative procedure between the LDPC
horizontal and vertical directions, respectively.
decoders, the feedback extrinsic information for the 2-D SOVA
2) After the encoded data a[ p, q] are passed through the
is determined as follows:
BPMR channel, the received data r [ p, q] are processed
by the 2-D equalizer and the 2-D SOVA.
 p,q] that is received from the 2-D ea [ p, q] = (eh 2 [ p, q] + ev [ p, q])/2 (1)
3) After the LLR value d[
SOVA is decoded by the LDPC decoder of the horizontal em [ p, q] = ea [ p, q] × α. (2)
direction, the horizontal LDPC decoder transmits the
extrinsic information eh1 [ p,q] of the horizontal LDPC III. S IMULATION AND R ESULTS
decoder to the vertical LDPC decoder.
4) The LDPC decoder of the vertical direction decodes the A. BPMR Channel Model
LLR value d[ p,q] of the 2-D SOVA with the extrinsic
The island pulse-response shape is applied to the perpen-
information eh1 [ p,q] of the horizontal LDPC. dicular magnetic recording for the BPMR with and without
5) After the vertical LDPC decoder sends the extrinsic the soft underlayer (SUL) [15], [16]. To achieve 1 Tb/in2 ,
information ev [ p,q] to the horizontal LDPC decoder, it is assumed that the length of the square magnetic island
the LLR value  d[ p,q] of the 2-D SOVA with the is 12.5 nm, and the along-track PW50 values are 21.2 and
extrinsic information ev [ p,q] of the vertical LDPC is 18.8 nm with and without the SUL, respectively. For the fixed
decoded by the horizontal LDPC decoder. island width, the across-track profile of the island is similar
6) Then, the extrinsic information of horizontal and vertical to the Lorentzian pulse [15]. In the present case, the PW50 is
LDPC decoders is averaged, and the averaged extrinsic 31.2 nm. The pulse response can be written as follows:
information value ea [ p,q] is scaled down. (This means
the value of the extrinsic information is multiplied by α.) h(x, y) = h x (x)h y (y) (3)

Fig. 2. BER performance according to the α value. Fig. 3. BER performance according to the SNR with and without the SUL.

where h x (x) and h y (y) are the island response of the along
track and across track, respectively. Then, the readback signal
r [ p, q] can be written as follows:
r [ p, q] = h[ p, q] ⊗ d[ p, q] + n[ p, q] (4)
where h[ p, q] = h(pTx , qT y ) is the 2-D discrete pulse
response of the 3×3 array; Tx and Ty are the bit period and the
track pitch, respectively; ⊗ is the 2-D convolution operation;
d[ p, q] is the recorded bit; and n[ p, q] is the additive white
Gaussian noise with a zero mean and the variance σ 2 .

B. Experiments
In this simulation, the total number of pages is ten, and the
page size of the BPMR-channel input data is 1084×1084. The
PR target is {(0.0, 0.2, 0.0), (0.1, 1.0, 0.1), (0.0, 0.2, 0.0)} with
the SUL and {(0.0, 0.2, 0.0), (−0.1, 1.0, −0.1), (0.0, 0.2, 0.0)}
without the SUL. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is defined
as 10 log10 (1/σ 2 ). Read head offset [it is referred to as track Fig. 4. BER performance according to SNR with SUL where the TMR is
10% and 30%.
misregistration (TMR)] is unavoidable error factor in BPMR.
Since the read head sensing the islands in the adjacent tracks,
the value of the extrinsic information from the product code
it can increase the ITI [4]. The TMR is defined as the head-
was multiplied by 0.1. It is important to select an appropri-
offset size divided by the magnetic-island period and is written
ate α value, as an inappropriate α value worsens the BER
as follows:
Head offset
Track Misregistration = × 100. (5) Fig. 3 displays the BER performance according to the SNR
Island period with and without the SUL. At the BER of 10−4 , the perfor-
The size of the used LDPC code is (4336, 4096), and then mance improvements of the proposed LDPC product code are
the overall code rate for the LDPC product code is 0.892 and approximately 1.4 and 4 dB compared with those of the single
the number of iterations in each LDPC decoder for the LDPC LDPC code and the with-SUL SOVA output, respectively. The
product code is 5. The case of one (4336, 3856) LDPC code, BER performance of the without-SUL proposed scheme is also
which has the code rate of 0.889, is compared here. The better than that of the single LDPC code.
number of iterations in LDPC decoder for the one LDPC Fig. 4 displays the BER performances according to the
code is 10. The decoding algorithm that is used for the LDPC SNR with the SUL where the TMR values are 10% and 30%.
decoder is the standard sum–product algorithm in log domain. At the BER of 10−4 , the performance of the proposed LDPC
Fig. 2 illustrates the bit error rate (BER) performance product code at the TMR of 10% is approximately 1 dB better
according to the α values for the proposed LDPC product than that of the conventional LDPC code. Similarly, the TMR
code; here, the SNR is 8 dB, the TMR is 0%, and it is with performance of 30% displays a comparable tendency.
the SUL. From Fig. 2, when α is 0.1, the minimum BER Fig. 5 shows a comparison of the BER performances of the
is applied to the BER performance of the proposed method; SOVA, a simple LDPC code, and the proposed LDPC product
therefore, in this simulation, the α was set as 0.1. Namely, code when the sizes of the burst error are 100 b (10 × 10),

The 2-D SOVA and the LDPC product code are used to
mitigate the ISI, ITI, and burst errors. Since the SOVA receives
the appropriate extrinsic information from the LDPC product
code and the LDPC product code receives the improved LLR
value, this scheme can more effectively correct not only the
random errors but also the burst errors compared with a simple
LDPC code.

This work was supported by the National Research Foun-
dation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Govern-
ment (MSIP) under Grant NRF-2016R1A2B4011270.

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