Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Revolution ahead in data storage, say IT wizards

In the olden days...
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Nov 1, 2007
The world's smallest hard drives have already shrunk to the size of a postage stamp, but nanoscale computing may soon make that achievement look elephantine, say some of the stars of information technology.

Breathtaking change is on the horizon in personal and industrial data storage, the experts say in a review of vanguard technology, published on Thursday in the British journal Nature Materials.

The newest developments in "spintronics", for example, are poised to go beyond the electrical charge of classic electronics to harness the quantum "spin" state of electrons, writes Albert Fert, co-winner last month of the Nobel Prize for Physics.

That could usher in dramatic advances in hard disk storage capacity and date retrieval, says Fert.

Along with Peter Gruenberg of Germany, Frenchman Fert was lauded for discovering the principle, called giant mangetoresistance (GMR), that lies at the heart of the past decade's most popular electronic devices, from iPods to cell phones to Blackberries.

Fert's new holy grail -- called Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) -- could essentially collapse the disk drive and computer chip into one, vastly expanding both processing power and storage capacity.

"MRAM potentially combines key advantages such as non-volatility, infinite endurance and fast random access -- down to five nanoseconds read/write time -- that make it a likely candidate for becoming the 'universal memory' of nanoelectonics," forecast Fert and his colleagues.

Experimental engineers at IBM, which was the first company to commercialize GMR devices, are already hard a work on this new generation of disk-drives, which promise to boost data storage by a factor of a hundred.

The race for space is driven by consumer hunger for data-rich formats such as on-demand television and high-definition video.

But keeping pace with demand depends on a constant stream of technological breakthroughs, and until recently it seemed that certain chokepoints -- such as the size of transistors -- were finally going to disprove Moore's Law.

More than forty years ago, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore said that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double roughly every 24 years, a prediction that has largely held true ever since.

"We literally got to the stage where we couldn't make it any smaller," Intel's Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said in an interview with Nature.

The transistor, used as an amplifier or an electrically-controlled switch, is the fundamental building block of the circuitry in computers and most consumer electronic devices.

But an innovation in materials -- a nanoscale changeover from silicon to metals inside the transistor "gate" -- has given rise to "the dawn of a new era," Rattner said.

Nature's review of state-of-the-art storage technology also includes a survey of advances in the materials used for making rewritable optical disks, giving rise to the development of high-definition DVDs and Blu-ray.

Blu-ray is a optical disc format jointly developed by many of the world's leading consumer electronics and media manufacturers, including Apple, Dell, Hitachi and a dozen others.

The format enables recording and rewriting and playback of high-definition video, as well as five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs.

Finally, Charles Lieber and Wei Lu of Harvard University discuss so-called "bottom up" assembly of nanotubes and nanowires in electronic circuits that could one day replace silicon technology in nanoelectronics.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Small is beautiful: Incredible shrinking memory drives new IT
Paris (AFP) Oct 9, 2007
Over the past decade, hard drives have shrunk to the size of postage stamps while their storage capacity has improved fifty-fold, a feat that can be traced to two men who won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday.







  • Electricity Grid Could Become A Type Of Internet
  • Google revs up profits as advertising revenues soar
  • Internet preparing to go into outer space
  • US cities' Wi-Fi dreams fading fast

  • Arianespace Prepares The Fifth And Sixth Ariane 5 For 2007 Launches
  • South Korean Rocket To Make First Launch In 2008
  • Russia To Launch German Satellite On November 1st
  • Russia launches first Proton rocket after crash

  • NASA sorry over air safety uproar
  • Airbus superjumbo makes first commercial flight
  • Airbus superjumbo takes off on first commercial flight
  • Solar Telescope Reaches 120,000 Feet On Jumbo-Jet-Sized Balloon

  • Most Complex Silicon Phased Array Chip In The World
  • Lockheed Martin Completes Major Test Of First Advanced Military Communications Satellite
  • Raytheon Teams With Industry Best To Pursue Army Satellite Communications Program
  • Northrop Grumman Introduces New Geospatial Data Appliance For Defense And Intelligence Operations

  • ESA Transmits First-Ever Telecommands To Chinese Satellite
  • Revolution ahead in data storage, say IT wizards
  • Dawn Checks Out As Outbound Cruise Progresses
  • MIT Gel Changes Color On Demand

  • Dr Mary Cleave Appointed To Board Of Directors Of Sigma Space
  • Northrop Grumman Appoints GPS And Military Space VPs
  • Boeing Names Scott Fancher Missile Defense Systems VP And GM
  • CNP Powers Up Advanced Technology Suite To Improve Selection Board Process

  • NASA Data May Help Improve Estimates Of A Hurricane's Punch
  • DMCii Satellite Imaging Helps Dramatically Reduce Deforestation Of Amazon Basin
  • NASA Views Southern California Fires And Winds
  • A Roadmap For Calibration And Validation

  • Broad Reach Engineering GPS Receiver Launched On TerraSAR-X Mission
  • Russia Launches Proton Carrier Rocket After The Ban
  • EU's Galileo satnav scheme needs millions more next year: MEPs
  • Another GPS Satellite Successfully Launched

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement