Hard drive storage continues to at a very fast pace. The question is how much data can we squeeze into the current space and how can we increase capacity without increasing the size of the storage devices. We hate bulky stuff. TDM reported to use laser to double HD capacity. Now this is new. Would you have trusted that anyone would increase the capacity of a 3TB HD six times , to 18TB, using table salt? A Dr Joel Yang at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has just done that.

The maximum storage you get for existing Hard Drives is around 3TB. The TD HAMR technology takes the capacity to 6TB. Dr Yang now increases the 6TB times 3 to 18 or the 3TB times 6 to 18TB.  Dr Joel Yang’s IMRE research team, working with peers  from  A*STAR’s  DSI and  NUS,  has used nanopatterning to create uniform arrays of magnetic bits that can potentially store up to 3.3 Terabit/in 2 of  information, six times the recording density  of current  devices.

Dr Yang used table salt, or more specifically, sodium chloride to achieve this fete.

Image of magnetic bits at the IMRE achieved densities

Normally, data is stored on a hard disk through the use of nanoscopic magnetic grains. Several of these grains (called a cluster), each measuring around 7nm, are used to store one bit of information. It means that if you can pack up more density on the volume, you will increase storage.

Using table salt (sodium chloride) 10nm grain can now be used to store one bit. This means that one 10nm grain will be used to replace the several 7nm grains used to achieve the same and so increased capacity in the same volume.

Furthermore, sodium chloride can be added to the existing lithography processes, meaning that this technology can be used to produce commercial drives sooner rather than later. Dr Yang’s team has showcased a 1.9 Terabit/inch2 storage  working, but they hope to display the 3.3 Terabit/inch2 soon. Their aim is to  achieve a 10 Terabit/inch2 in the future.

This technology might satisfy the thirst of data centre providers for more storage if implemented. Read the  press release here

What do you think about this technology?