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Antoine de Saint-exupéry

Ice hard drive can store 25000 gigabytes of data in a volume comparable to a small coin

12 Sep 2017

The University of Manchester is leading research in the field of molecular storage, when each single molecule of a certain substance can act as a repository of one or more bits of data. Research in this area could lead to new devices capable of recording more than 25 terabytes of data on the area of one square inch, and the same amount of data can fit in a carrier volume comparable to the volume of the coin a little dignity.

Magnetism is a phenomenon that is used to store the data in all hard disks. Grains of magnetic material covering the plate hard disks, now have sizes from 10 to 20 nanometrov. The direction of magnetization of these grains varies under the influence of strong external magnetic field generated by the coil in the head of the disk, and a sequence of magnetized areas of the hard drive platters is transformed into a sequence of logical ones and zeros.

To further increase the density of recording information is required reducing the size of the magnetic "grain" of less than 10 nanometers, and it is known, are already comparable with the size of the individual molecules of a substance. Unfortunately, the molecules of most substances is missing characteristics such as magnetic hysteresis, unless cooling to a temperature of -259 degrees Celsius or below. Naturally, the need for cooling to cryogenic temperatures using liquid helium puts a fat cross on the practical application of such technologies.

But during his next research group from the University of Manchester found that molecules of certain compounds on the basis of atoms of dysprosium (dysprosium) are beginning to have a magnetic hysteresis already at a temperature of -213 degrees Celsius. This temperature is already quite close to the temperature of cooling liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees Celsius), which allows you to think about the practical application of molecular data stores.

Members of the research group from the University of Manchester are confident that they will be able to find in the near future, substance whose molecules possess magnetic hysteresis at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. This, in turn, will allow you to create data storage for supercomputers and data centers, the density of which will be at least a hundred times higher areal density of any existing technology.

Unfortunately, such high-capacity storage devices require such low temperature cooling, are unlikely to be available to ordinary customers. But it may well be that in the near future, your data transmitted to any cloud storage, will be recorded in the devices of molecular data storage is huge by today's standards the volume