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Thursday, 19 August 2010 09:51

Toshiba has breakthrough in data storage

Written by Nick Farell
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Bit patterned media
Toshiba boffins have come up with what it calls a breakthrough in data storage that it says paves the way for hard drives with vastly higher capacity than today.

The boffins have been working on bit-patterned media, which is a a magnetic storage technology that is being developed for future hard disk drives. Currently  magnetic material is spread across the surface of the disk and bits of data are stored across several hundred magnetic grains.

Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Data is stored on these magnetic bits: One magnetic bit can hold one bit of data.

Toshiba says it is the first time that anyone has managed to producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows. Getting rows and gaps is important because  they  act as data markers. The organization allows for the quick location of information. Toshiba has got usable signals from a recording head that flew over the data and stopped at a data track on the media.

The prototype has a density equivalent to 2.5 terabits per square inch. Toshiba's current highest capacity drive today has a density of 541 gigabits per square inch or about one fifth that of the new technology.

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