Category Archives: data storage

Nano Memory 1,000 Times Faster

Nanoscale computer memory retrieves data 1,000 times faster

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data for 100,000 years and retrieving that data a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash memory and micro-drives, all using less power and space than current memory technologies.

example of nanowires

Tests showed extremely low power consumption for data encoding (0.7mW per bit). They also indicated the data writing, erasing and retrieval (50 nanoseconds) to be 1,000 times faster than conventional Flash memory and indicated the device would not lose data even after approximately 100,000 years of use, all with the potential to realize terabit-level nonvolatile memory device density.

“This new form of memory has the potential to revolutionize the way we share information, transfer data and even download entertainment as consumers,” Agarwal said. “This represents a potential sea-change in the way we access and store data.”

Current solid-state technology for products like memory cards, digital cameras and personal data assistants traditionally utilize Flash memory, a non-volatile and durable computer memory that can be erased and reprogrammed electronically. Data on Flash drives provides most battery-powered devices with acceptable levels of durability and moderately fast data access. Yet the technology’s limits are apparent. Digital cameras can’t snap rapid-fire photos because it takes precious seconds to store the last photo to memory. If the memory device is fast, as in DRAM and SRAM used in computers, then it is volatile; if the plug on a desktop computer is pulled, all recent data entry is lost.

Therefore, a universal memory device is desired that can be scalable, fast, durable and nonvolatile, a difficult set of requirements which have now been demonstrated at Penn.

“Imagine being able to store hundreds of high-resolution movies in a small drive, downloading them and playing them without wasting time on data buffering, or imagine booting your laptop computer in a few seconds as you wouldn’t need to transfer the operating system to active memory” Agarwal said.

This may not be as impressive as the Optical Memory 50.000 Times Faster, but if this nano-memory gets here before optical memory… I’ll just make due with the nano-memory for a while.

1 Terabyte On 1 Disc

How to fit 1TB of data on one CD-sized disc

Blu-ray and HD DVD have pushed the limits of optical storage further than anyone thought possible. But a new technology has emerged which makes Blu-ray’s 50GB capacity look tiny. Mempile in Israel says it’s able to fit an incredible 1TB of data onto one “TeraDisc” which is the same size as CDs and DVDs. That’s 20 times the capacity of a maxed-out dual-layer Blu-ray disc.The incredible capacity achieved using this new technology is made possible by employing 200 5GB layers, each one only five microns apart. The discs are completely transparent to the red lasers which are used in the associated recorder.

Prototypes have already been made to store up to 800GB of data, and Mempile says it will crack the 1TB barrier before moving on to build 5TB blue laser disks.

Dr Beth Erez, Mempile’s Chief Marketing Officer says that the first 1TB disks have a lifespan of 50 years and could be on the shelves in two to three years.

On a 1TB disc, you could store:

  • 212 DVD-quality movies
  • 250,000 MP3 files
  • 1,000,000 large Word documents

Optical Memory: 50.000 Times Faster

Laser Flips Magnetic Bit Without Any Help

Physicists in Netherlands and Japan are the first to flip the value of a magnetic memory bit by firing a very short pulse of circularly-polarized laser light at it. Unlike other magneto-optic data storage systems, no external magnetic field was required to flip the bit, which meant that its value could be changed about 50 thousand times faster than the fastest conventional memory. The result could lead to the development of low-cost and ultrafast all-optical magnetic hard disk drives.