IBM Breakthrough Exponentially Expands Data Storage

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

IBM Breakthrough Exponentially Expands Data Storage

New method of storage will allow 100 terabytes on a disc that now holds 1 TB.

For years, the limiting factor of increasing computational power has been how much electronic circuitry manufacturers can cram onto a single chip. Moore's Law describes a trend that's held true since 1971 in which CPUs have essentially doubled in capacity every 18 months, and data storage such as hard disks have generally kept up the same gradual growth - but that trend is about to be blown sky high. Computer scientists working for IBM have discovered a way for a comparatively small number of iron atoms on a disk - 12 atoms as opposed to 1 million - to store a single bit of data. If manufacturing using this method proves feasible, we could soon see hard drives that can store 100 to 150 times more data in the same size drive that's in the computer you're using to read this news post.

"Looking at this conservatively ... instead of 1TB on a device you'd have 100TB to 150TB. Instead of being able to store all your songs on a drive, you'd be able to have all your videos on the device," said Andreas Heinrich, the lead scientist on the project.

The breakthrough came from using a different technique to "record" data on a disk. Instead of iron atoms with opposite magnetic polarization put together - with magnetic repulsion requiring space between them - Heinrich and his team used a scanning tunneling microscope doohickey to assemble a small number of atoms with the same magnetic polarization that could be tightly packed.

"Moore's Law is basically the drive of the industry to shrink components down little by little and then solve the engineering challenges that go along with that but keeping the basic concepts the same. The basic concepts of magnetic data storage or even transistors haven't really changed over the past 20 years," he said. "The ultimate end of Moore's Law is a single atom. That's where we come in."

Heinrich admits that mass-production using this technique is still at least 5 to 10 years away. "Using iron atoms on a copper nitrite surface is probably far from being a real technology. You don't want to build this with the tool we're using, which is a research tool," he said. "You want to build this cheaply for a mass environment, and that's a huge engineering challenge."

But for those of us who have gotten used to toting around our entire music collection in a device the size of a credit card, this breakthrough will allow us to do the same with an library of Blu-Rays and DVDs, and that's pretty exciting. I have no idea why you'd want to watch movies on a credit card, but that isn't the point ...

Source: Computer World

Permalink

And the future comes closer!

You know, some day, our great-grandchildren will smirk at how excited we were to have 1-terabyte hard drives the same way we do when we see ads from the early days of computer tech advertising "revolutionary" 16-megabyte drives.

I'm so glad I invested in IBM.
And I'm also very glad that they got rid of their consumer products div. They're so much better at R&D stuff like this then they were at making PCs.
I actually can't wait to get a phone that utilizes this.
This really is very impressive and seeing as though we're running out of atoms, we may need to come up with a new "Law" soon.

Atoms: How do they Work? Too bad it's so far away in the future.

Greg Tito:
I have no idea why you'd want to watch movies on a credit card, but that isn't the point ...

I'd hate to see what the escapist reformats itself into to fit on THOSE screens.

The best part about this: It gives the MPAA yet another reason to weep.

And just yesterday I was impressed by a 16gig microsd card...

Seriously, this stuff is awesome.

Well, I'll admit that I understand none of the technical details.

Still awesome, though.

Well if we were to keep using discs the size of current Blu-Ray's and DVD's, how much data could we potentially cram onto one disc?

96 atoms = 1 byte is incredible. soon they will get to engraving those atoms with tiny lasers and THEY will become the 1gb PER atom. :P maybe im getting ahead of myself

That's great news for data storage freaks like myself.

That's wonderful, though I do have some concerns about data integrity when you're getting down to the level of a handful of atoms representing an individual bit...

But I guess that'll just make backups even more important. I've had enough Hard Drive (And CD-R, for that matter) disk failures that I know how problematic that can be.

On the other hand, given my propensity for filming large amounts of footage with digital cameras, I could really do with drives in those kinds of capacities. XD

Greg Tito:
I have no idea why you'd want to watch movies on a credit card, but that isn't the point ...

No Greg, but you'd want to plug your collection of HD movies into your friend's TV, that would be awesome.

Except some layer of DRM will probably prevent it.

Is this in any way related to using Sodium to produce structured grain platters in hard disks? The tech press was going slightly mental about that a couple of months ago.

Sadly, this likely doesn't mean we can now buy 1 X-byte of storage for the price of 10-Y bytes of storage assuming 1X = 1000Y.

But what will our future be? HDD, or SSD?

What's our priority? Virtually zero load time or not having to uninstall a game, ever again?

DECISIONS! DECISIONS!

Seems like once it gets down that small it would become insanely fragile and need some sort of containment to prevent a bump or a breeze from destroying your data.

this is great and all, but I'm a little more interested in when someone will tell me i can get more than half a day on a laptop without a charge.

Motherflippin' awesome! 10 years may sound like a long time, but hell, 10 years ago I had a 850MB HDD.

Edit: double post. My apologies.

Thats great. I honestly look forward to it.

I already cart my movies around on a device that is the size of a PSP. As for the question why would anyone want to watch movies the size of a credit card.. if you create the storage, the physical device reading the storage can have a port that can plug in to larger screens.

Much like today I have a Caanoo i have used countless times to show demonstration videos because it has a typical Camcorder RCA/TV out that runs thru its proprietary charging port. I can in turn use my Caanoo as a portable media device on any television equipped with a RCA input (basically any tv made within the last 30-40 years) and I can house 64gb (60 hours worth of video give or take) worth of video on it at any given time. So instead of carting around a crate of VHS cassettes to be used in a VCR for instructional videos every time I have to go to a different town I can lug around my cannoo with a 64 gb SD drive that holds all of those videos PLUS leaves me with about 20gb for anything else I would want to put on it.

People are already doing similar things via HDMI/VGA ports and laptops, though I find (at least until HDMI ports become more pervasive and common) that an RCA tv out port makes it infinitely more usable.[/quote]

EDIT:

unacomn:
Motherflippin' awesome! 10 years may sound like a long time, but hell, 10 years ago I had a 850MB HDD.

Really? Cause in 2002.. I had a hard drive with 20gb on it.(closer to 18 but.. meh) and that was for the time pretty common. Sure that wasnt like 15 or 20 years ago that you had 850 mb?

With 100TB I'd be able to have my entire Steam library installed simultaneously and still have room for days of 1080 fraps footage, on ONE drive.

Yes please.

Zaik:
Seems like once it gets down that small it would become insanely fragile and need some sort of containment to prevent a bump or a breeze from destroying your data.

Normal hard drive are already like that, a single particle of dust inside the enclosure is enough to scrap it.

I almost wish that it was still necessary to fully download porn just so I could see how much I could store on it.

Oh yeah, singularities and whatnot.

So bitchin.

I remember when i first got a hard drive that was more than one megabyte... that was epic at the time..

gigastar:
Well if we were to keep using discs the size of current Blu-Ray's and DVD's, how much data could we potentially cram onto one disc?

I'm fairly sure this technology only affects magnetic hard disks, not disks like that.

To be honest though, my knowledge is sketchy and unreliable.

I love the idea but 5-10 years? I suppose I will wait and be happy with my current set up but damn that sweet. Won't matter though I will still find a way to fill it with crap. I will always only have a few GB free. Someday I will clean out my media file... honest.

Woodsey:
I almost wish that it was still necessary to fully download porn just so I could see how much I could store on it.

Start downloading free screensavers instead?

Raiyan 1.0:

But what will our future be? HDD, or SSD?

What's our priority? Virtually zero load time or not having to uninstall a game, ever again?

DECISIONS! DECISIONS!

Both. Intel cache tech which allows you to have an SSD as your HDD cache. Best of both worlds, massive speed on the programs you use most often and the cheap storage of a HDD

redisforever:
And just yesterday I was impressed by a 16gig microsd card...

Seriously, this stuff is awesome.

They already go up to 64GB.

This news basically made my day. I'd absolutely love a 150TB hard drive.

EcoEclipse:

redisforever:
And just yesterday I was impressed by a 16gig microsd card...

Seriously, this stuff is awesome.

They already go up to 64GB.

This news basically made my day. I'd absolutely love a 150TB hard drive.

Holy crap if I got a 64GB microSD my phone would have more memory than my computers Hard Drive D:

I already use more than 10 TB of storage, given that the myriad of my several 2 TB HDDs it practically full by now.

Improvements are very welcome.

I wouldn't really flaunt reaching the end of Moore's Law. It has economic implications.

Yes, this is cool, and all, but...

If this is the future, where's my god-damned flying car?

Sooooo... Super Blue Ray?... Purple Ray? idk

Lawlhat:
I wouldn't really flaunt reaching the end of Moore's Law. It has economic implications.

You know, the one thing I never understood about Moore's law (Double performance every 2 years) was that if we do reach the end of Moore's law, in terms of an extremely cheap, extremely tiny chip doing extreme calculations, why nobody suggested that the uberchip be complimented by another uberchip sitting nearby?

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here