Posted by: crudbasher | October 19, 2011

A Hard Drive Made With…Salt?

(cc) naama

Score one for geeks. Turns out that you can increase the storage density of hard drive platters by adding table salt. From what I was able to determine it makes the microscopic storage bits align in a regular pattern, saving space, thus allowing more to fit into a given area.

Do we really need bigger hard drives? Yes. Yes we do. Why?

The evolution of computers has always been a tug of war between two factors: storage and transfer rate. As storage became constrained, faster transfer allowed off device (cloud) storage to be practical. Applications then were created that generated larger content that wasn’t practical to transfer via the cloud so we went back to local storage. As transfer rates increased, back to the cloud we went.

What is happening now is the inevitable swing back to local storage. With the huge volume of video data being generated it makes sense.

    • Dr Joel Yang at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has discovered a way to increase the data density of a drive to 3.3 Terabit/inch2, meaning that it will be possible to manufacture hard drive platters offering 6 TB of storage. Surprisingly the secret ingredient in producing these high-capacity drives is sodium chloride, or rather, your common table salt.
    • Dr. Yang said that the salt-based method has achieved data-storage capability at 1.9 Terabit/in2, though bits of up to 3.3 Terabit/in2 densities were fabricated. Further research and development is aiming to achieve 10 Terabit/inch2 in the future, but don’t expect drives using the salt-based process to appear for another two years if not more.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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