Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Data storage: Going with the grain

26.10.2012
Reducing information stored in magnetic thin films to the physical size of single grains could improve computer hard drives

Despite the increasing competition from alternative technologies such as solid-state drives, magnetic disks remain an important data-storage technology. They are not only reliable and inexpensive, but their storage density has potential for even further improvement.


Even more data is set to be packed into the magnetic thin films of computer hard drives, thanks to modeling research at A*STAR. © Stockbyte/Thinkstock

One method under current investigation is storing each data bit in a single magnetic grain of the thin film of the recording medium, rather than in several grains as in conventional hard drives. Storage in single grains only would increase stability and reduce the magnetic fields required to write bits.

By modeling write processes in hard disks, Melissa Chua and her co-workers at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute, Singapore, have demonstrated how this is possible in practice. “The hope is that such a grain-based magnetic recording can extend storage densities by an order of magnitude, to achieve ten terabits per square inch,” she says.

Thin magnetic films for data storage coat the top layer of plastic films in hard-disk drives and consist of many neighboring nanometer-sized grains. As storage density of magnetic films has increased over the years, the surface area used for storage per bit is now comparable to the size of these grains.

Achieving single-grain storage requires a solid understanding of the write processes. Two theoretical models are available to describe these processes. One is an analytical model that uses a simplified description of the magnetic fields within the grains and within the write head of the hard disk. This model achieves fast and easy-to-implement modeling of the recording process, Chua notes.

The second model is a statistical approach that uses tabulated values of parameters that detail the magnetic orientation switching process when information is written to the hard disk. These parameters are derived from detailed simulations of the magnetic fields in the grains and from the computer hard drive write head. From these, the researchers produced a probability for a grain to switch under given circumstances. This detailed approach is more accurate, but also more time intensive than the analytical approach.

Chua and her co-workers successfully applied both models to the grain-based storage process. They simulated the switching of single grains with both methods and then compared their individual performance. By adjusting relevant process parameters for both models, they achieved good agreement between them. Having shown the suitability of both models, choosing which model to use depends on specifics, such as the desired accuracy. Either way, Chua says, “Both models enable the system-level testing of future magnetic recording technologies.”
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute

References

Chua, M., Elidrissi, M. R., Eason, K., Zhang, S. H., Qin, Z. L. et al. Comparing analytical, micromagnetic and statistical channel models at 4 Tcbpsi patterned media recording. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics 48, 1826–1832 (2012).

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>