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BOOK REVIEWS


Magnetic Actuators and Sensors

John R. Brauer

ISBN: 0-471-73169-2
Hardcover
308 pages
February 2006, Wiley-IEEE Press
US $120.00

This practical text features computer-aided engineering methods for the design and application of magnetic actuators and sensors, using the latest software tools. John Brauer highlights the use of the electromagnetic finite element software package Maxwell® SV and introduces readers to applications using SPICE, MATLAB®, and Simplorer®. A free download of Maxwell® SV is available at the Ansoft site, and the software files for the examples are available at ftp://ftp.wiley.com/public/sci_tech_med/magnetic_actuators


The text is divided into four parts:

A major thrust of this book is teaching by example. In addition to solved examples provided by the author, problems at the end of each chapter help readers to confirm their understanding of new skills and techniques. References, provided in each chapter, help readers explore particular topics in greater depth. With its emphasis on problem solving and applications, this is an ideal textbook for electrical and mechanical engineers enrolled in upper-level undergraduate and graduate classes in electromechanical engineering.


Coding and Signal Processing for Magnetic Recording Systems

Edited by: Bane Vasic and Erozan M. Kurtas

In the past 10 years or so, there has been an enormous amount of progress and innovation in magnetic recording systems. The amount of information being generated in the area of coding and signal processing for magnetic recording systems is mind-boggling (ironically, the advances themselves have allowed us to store and archive all this information!). In this book the editors have managed to compile an impressive collection of articles written by renowned researchers in the area of coding and signal processing for recording systems. The articles comprehensively cover all aspects of magnetic recording read channels including their architecture, mathematical modeling of readback and noise, information-theoretic capacity and, of course, existing and advanced coding and signal processing techniques.

The book is divided into six sections covering various aspects of magnetic recording read channels. Depending on the area of interest, the required mathematical skill varies from a basic knowledge of algebra and calculus to a sound knowledge of probability. The book is not an introductory text; nevertheless, adequate introduction and background information pertaining to magnetic recording systems is found in the articles, especially in the first three sections. These sections give an introduction to magnetic recording systems, their history, physics, architecture, and existing signal processing and coding methods. They are meant to introduce concepts and tools that are used or built upon throughout the rest of the book. The second section is in some sense the heart of the book, for it details the mathematical modeling of magnetic recording channels and introduces digital signal processing and coding techniques used for them. The section also has a couple of nice articles about the “information theory” of magnetic recording channels.

The fourth and fifth sections deal with coding and signal processing for read channels, respectively. The articles in both the sections can be broadly classified into two categories: survey type articles describing existing and state-of-the-art techniques; and articles detailing new advances and novel techniques. These articles give a comprehensive coverage of the techniques and concepts that are prevalent in the field. The fifth section has the most to offer; the articles are self-contained with mostly previously unpublished work. Last, but certainly not least, the sixth section contains articles describing iterative decoding techniques that have shown immense potential for use in future magnetic recording systems.

The articles contain a good mix of theory and practice, reflecting the background of the authors, some of whom are in academia and some in industry; but overall the book leans towards the practical side. Great care has been taken to make sure that perpendicular recording be given equal consideration as longitudinal recording, and justifiably so. The fact that many of the authors are from Seagate (and their collaborators) helps a lot in furthering this. The articles have pictures and graphs that either illustrate concepts or show results which not only make the reading more enjoyable, but also help greatly in assimilating the concepts and ideas presented in the articles.

The editors have done a really commendable job in compiling this book. This is a must-have book for anyone who plans to pursue serious research in the field of coding and signal processing for magnetic recording systems.

Naveen Singla

Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Washington University
St. Louis, MO-63130, USA
singla@essrl.wustl.edu
http://www.essrl.wustl.edu/~singla

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