These advances were recently reported at the 12th Joint MMM/Intermag Conference in Chicago.
"This technology should allow us to marry the benefits of solid state electronics with magnetic recording, and create non-volatile memory systems that store more data in less space, using less power," said Albrecht Jander, also an associate professor of electrical engineering and collaborator on the research.
This approach might work with materials already being used in magnetic recordings, or variations on them, the investigators said. Continued research will explore performance, materials and cost issues.
Advances in data storage are part of what has enabled the enormous advance in high technology systems in recent decades.
A disk drive at the dawn of this era in the 1950s had five megabyte capacity, cost today's equivalent of $160,000, weighed about a ton, had to be moved with a forklift and was so big it had to be shipped on a large cargo aircraft. Experts at the time said they could have built something with more storage capacity, but they could not envision why anyone would want it, or buy it.
A system today that stores 500 gigabytes, or 100,000 times as much information, is found routinely in laptop computers that cost a few hundred dollars.
|Contact: Pallavi Dhagat|
Oregon State University