Aug 28, 2000
Heine led Seagate's effort to design and ship the first Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor for disc drives, which has shipped in volume for three years and has cemented Seagate's position as the leader in disc drive motor technology. Seagate has shipped more than 2.5 million FDB motors in its Medalist Pro, Medalist Pro SCSI and Barracuda ATA II products. Seagate's FDB motor is still the only technology of its kind shipping in volume.
Building on this success, Heine and his group also initiated the development of a new, high-speed spindle motor that consumes less power than conventional ball bearing spindles. The group has unveiled its first model spinning at an unprecedented 25,000 rpm.
Under Heine's direction, the team has enabled many of the advances for which Seagate is known including ground-breaking increases in spindle speeds to 5,400 rpm, 7,200 rpm, 10,000 rpm and now 15,000 rpm.
"With Gunter's outstanding leadership, Seagate's motor group has become a world class motor technology and manufacturing process development team," said Tom Porter, Seagate executive vice president and chief technical officer. "They have helped Seagate maintain its enviable record of pioneering breakthrough high-performance drives, culminating today with the world's only 15,000-rpm drive, the Cheetah X15. In the last few years, Gunter's team has made Seagate the undisputed leader in Fluid Dynamic Bearing motors. Having shipped millions of first- and second- generation FDB motors over the past few years, the team has now developed an unequalled third-generation FDB motor to meet the rigid demands of today's disc drives."
"Gunter's motor group has recorded dozens of patents, with Gunter himself receiving 35 patents for Seagate," Porter noted. "At the age of 26, Gunter received his first patent. He's been inducted into Seagate's Hall of Fame three times for his inventions. His accomplishments have centered on industry-impacting technologies including his pioneering work on stepper motors, spindle motors, Samarium-Cobalt magnets and fluid dynamic bearings. Gunter has 17 motor-related international publications, including 10 for Seagate. He's co-authored three motor-related books. "
With Seagate's rapid growth in the early 1980s it became clear that having motor technology capabilities in house would be important to ensure ownership of this key technology, to develop it in a timely way and to move the technology quickly to production. In 1983, the company turned to Heine, who had pioneered stepper motor technology in computer peripherals in Germany. Heine gathered a team of engineers that became the industry's leading motor technology development group.
In addition to designing the motor technology that was adopted by most of the industry, Heine and his team have designed Seagate's motor assembly lines and most of the tools and automated equipment required to build the motors. This has enabled a close relationship with the drive designers and manufacturing teams, ensuring Seagate drives and motors are perfectly matched.
The goal for Seagate's Motor Group is to continue to innovate new motor technology to drive even higher spindle speed and lower cost. Moving forward, the Motor Group will focus on enhancing bearing designs and developing the magnetic design to achieve two or three times higher speed without an increase to heat, noise or cost.
Before joining Seagate in 1983, Heine worked for Berger-Lahr where he helped develop the first square stepper motor for floppy disc drive companies including Shugart Associates, MPI, Tandon and Siemens. He also created and holds four patents on the first five-phase stepper motor, which was widely licensed throughout the global motor industry. Previously, at AEG Telefunken Heine created AEG's Advanced Concepts Group and helped develop the small position motor used in IBM's "golf ball"-based Selectric typewriter. Heine earned the Dipl. Ing. (an equivalent to the Master's Degree in Engineering) from the Engineering Academy of Hamburg.
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