Hummm..Petabytes? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 11-23-2004, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hummm..Petabytes?

Ok, I stumbled upon this and just thought it might be interesting.
This was released Feb. 2003.

Researchers at an American university have produced a nanoscale device that can sense magnetic fields more than a hundred times weaker than current techniques allow. If applied to hard disks this could increase storage by a factor of up to a thousand, they claim, effectively turning today's 200-gigabyte disks into 200-terabyte devices.
Susan Hua and Harsh Deep Chopra, both professors at the State University of New York at Buffalo, say that the new system uses an effect called ballistic magnetoresistance. Most importantly, it works well at room temperature and would be easy to integrate with current disk drive manufacturing.
The sensors are made from nanometre-sized nickel whiskers strung between two much larger nickel electrodes. The whiskers are so fine that electrons have to travel in a straight 'ballistic' line across them, as opposed to the normal drunken stagger that goes on in thicker conductors. Because of this restriction, even small magnetic fields have a large effect on the ease with which the electrons move. Although this effect has been known for some time, Hua and Chopra claim to have invented a way to efficiently and repeatedly produce devices with known parameters.
"We first saw a large effect of over 3,000 percent resistance change in small magnetic fields last July," Chopra said in a statement. "That was just the tip of the iceberg. These results point to the beautiful science that remains to be discovered." He also said that the same technique may be useful in medicine, by detecting the unique magnetic signature of biological molecules in solution.
A disk drive stores bits on its surface as a pattern of magnetic fields. As the bits get smaller, the storage density per square centimetre gets higher but the strength of each individual magnetic field gets weaker. The ability of existing sensors to reliably read weak fields is one of the major limiting factors in making larger hard disks, although density has been doubling each year since 1997. At this rate, the one-petabyte -- one-million-gigabyte -- disk will arrive shortly before 2010: by comparison, the world disk drive production in 1995 totalled 20 petabytes.

You can't dispute fact.. do you want a petabyte? Ill pass for now.
Maybe in 10 years when the common house hold PC is rendering "Shrek" like 3D worlds in seconds. But untill then,,, ill stick with my 250 gig.

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Old 11-23-2004, 02:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm...i don't think I need that much space now, I haven't yet filled my 240GB even close. Thats quite a thought though.

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Old 11-23-2004, 02:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good god. That simply was an amazing article, very nice indeed Vector, thanks for sharing. Man, I was just completely astounded by what they said, I can't believe you guys are just skipping to 'You want one?...nah' lol the science is just's insane to think within 5 years we'll have a one million gigabyte drive perhaps!? I don't care what you guys say, sign me up for one of those, you just set one partition to 40gb as your main and set your other drive to 999,960gb and you're set for life! :P
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Old 11-23-2004, 05:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe in 10 years

In 10 years, we would have holographic storage devices . I believe they have much higher storage capacity than what this ballistic magnetoresistance property has to offer.

Nice article btw. vector_anomaly

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Old 11-23-2004, 07:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DNA data storage! Seriously think how small DNA strands are, and how many zeros and ones you could fit on one. I had an article from that how things work site, but seem to have lost it. Ill see if I can find it.

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Old 11-23-2004, 08:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In 10 years, we would have holographic storage devices . I believe they have much higher storage capacity than what this ballistic magnetoresistance property has to offer.
Sure, there's just 2 problems. One, scientists haven't figured out how to fully manipulate a holographic memory stack. Two, at its current state of design, turn the power off, and yer memory is all gone, like RAM.

Personally, I don't think we'll be able to push magnetism much further. I mean, you can get down to create a carbon-block processor, with 1/0 manipulations down at the atomic level, but then what? You can't really have a "pure" array of sub-atomic particles. Quantum computing has its merits, but then what?

Even then, once you get down to the quantum/atomic level, you're talking some serious hardware, and let me tell ya, it ain't gonna be cheap (nor comfortable).

Even if you did bring things down to those levels, there are very few people here who have enough understanding to fool around with it like we do with hardware now. You'd have to accept that DELL is going to make your PC and not you anymore.

Anyway, I think it'll be wonderful to have this new hard-drive technology...but for those of you who can remember the whole CD introduction, not to mention the DVD introduction, I'm sure this'll be just another fact of life one day that we all take for granted and complain about how our drives are getting too full.

I remember back in 1993, I had a PC with a 10gig hard-drive, and I was stoked! And back then, Windows was like 250mb and most of my games made little dents in the drive, and I had no music or videos on the machine. Now, every new game out takes 4gigs just to install, my music archive is 20gigs, videos, pictures, etc. My OS (XP-Pro) sucks up 1.5gig of space just to sit. I've got 240gigs in my main home box, plus another 200 in external storage, and I'm feeling the pressure to buy more space. If we all go to terabyte drives, I'm sure somewhere a game company or software maker will produce a product that has a footprint along the lines of 200gigs or something.

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Old 11-23-2004, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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won't a high level of magnetism cause the drive to fail?

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Old 11-23-2004, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You'd just have to shield it. Same way your current HDD shields itself (except when you put a 200-lb magnet against it.

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Old 11-23-2004, 02:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Earth's magnetic field isn't that strong. Unlike science-fiction, you can't just build a car-sized magnet and float around everywhere.

Plus, in regards to this topic, magnetism only goes so far. In fact, when you get down to the atomic level (like in this scenario being discussed) you're no longer talking about the same "magnetism" that you use your compass by or pick up paperclips with. The magnetism, effectively electric repulsion and attraction fields from the atoms themselves, is the driving force. This would be similar to having a series of banked wires in an array, loading them up with electrons by a repulsive electromagnetic force, and then counting them to produce wholesale byte sequences...which is highly impractical, (not to mention difficult).

In the above described storage process, you'd have a very delicate electromagnetic manipulator which would repulse and attract the individual particles as finely as possible. No doubts they are having trouble controlling the error ratios, though it is likely they have this problem close to being solved by forcing the atoms to behaving in a straight-line, predictable fashion.

Still, I think these drives, while awsome in capacity, are gonna be real bytches on a manufacturing/maintaining factor.

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Old 11-23-2004, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm thinking this article is BS. Crazy people with crazy ideas. they are just overly ambitious at this point. if they can show us a prototype that works than maybe they have a chance. By 2010 they said...that's definately BS, it will be at least another 15-20 years from now. As far as filling a petabyte disk, that won't be too hard. I've got a lot of pr0n waiting to be archived.

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