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 Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power
20.04.2018 | University of Washington

nachricht An AI that makes road maps from aerial images
18.04.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>