Scientists: Table Salt to Increase Storage Density
A tandem of researchers in Singapore claim to have discovered a way to use table salt as a means to increase the density at which bits of data can be stored on a hard disk drive platter.
Early projections indicate that this 'salty' method is actually 5 times more efficient than current hard disk densities.
The method was first introduced by Joel Yang, a scientist at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
Yang was able to hone his method using an extremely high-resolution e-beam lithography -- the same process by which fine nano-scale circuitry is created.
Salt More Efficient than Grains
Current technology uses tiny grains (between 7 nanometers and 8 nanometers in size) deposited on the surface of storage media.
To put it into perspective, a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Current NAND flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) use some lithography processors that create circuitry about 25nm in width (a human hair is 3,000 times thicker by comparison). (Source: computerworld.com)
Nevertheless, a single bit of data must still be stored within a cluster of these grains and not in any single grain.
By adding salt (or rather, sodium chloride) to the equation, researchers were able to produce highly-defined nanostructures that were as small as 4.5 nanometers. Furthermore, the bits make it possible to store information on a single structure.
In total, the researchers believe that the new process will support densities that range from 1.9 terabits per inch to 3.3 terabits per inch -- six times what a Seagate 4 terabyte drive is capable of. (Source: dawn.com)
Increasing Storage Density Further
And while such an innovation would likely cause many others to stop for a moment and enjoy the technological advancements they helped to create, the Singapore-based research team is already attempting to increase storage density even further, though no concrete plans have been divulged at this time.
Free eBook: PC Maintenance Handbook - 2nd Edition. With the PC Maintenance Handbook, you'll learn how to improve your PC's performance, speed, and reliability. This guide is designed to help you find ways to maintain your Windows PC and ensure it remains clean and speedy throughout its life. PC maintenance doesn't have to be difficult, and this guide makes it easy to understand. Click here to download this eBook now! Note: this eBook is free, but registration is required; after that, you can select more ebooks and videos for download without registering again. If you have questions / problems with the registration form, please read this.