Innovation

Nanotech slated to replace magnetic disk drives

According to Michael Kozicki, a researcher at Arizona State University, nanotechnology is slated to replace current generation magnetic disk drives used in iPods and laptops within the next five to 10 years. The result would be storage devices that are more durable, lighter, and faster.

According to Michael Kozicki, a researcher at Arizona State University, nanotechnology is slated to replace current generation magnetic disk drives used in iPods and laptops within the next five to 10 years. The result would be storage devices that are more durable, lighter, and faster.

Kozicki says he's also working on changing the way we store data now, using nanowires instead of electrons in cells to hold the data. In this way, less energy and space is required for the capacitors. Layering memory using nanoionics can also increase the density of the storage.

Excerpt from Computerworld:

... today, only one layer of memory can sit on a silicon chip. Using ionized metal that he creates through nanoionics, he's able to stack memory layers - two, four or maybe more - on top of each other, and those layers would sit on top of the silicon.

Additionally, multiple pieces of information could be stored in the same space that used to hold only one piece of data.

Traditionally, each cell holds one bit of information. However, instead of storing simply a 0 or a 1, that cell could hold a 00 or a 01. Kozicki said the ability to double capacity that way -- without increasing the number of cells -- has already been proven. Now researchers are working to see how many pieces of data can be held by a single cell.

Already, the use of flash memory in hard disk is a commercial reality, though not necessarily a wallet-friendly one. Still, the price of flash memory is dropping by the day.

With nanotechnology coming over the horizon, is the magnetic (aka Winchester) hard disk drive truly on the way out?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

7 comments
JCitizen
JCitizen

The question in my mind is this; is memory made static by using resistance instead of an electrified charge? This new resistance method needs no or very little electric field to hold the memory - much like magnetic disk. I say spinning disk memory is a dying field. Maybe the next leap will be spintronics.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

there is a hilarious new-scifi short 'Personal Jesus' about how, as we advanced and discovered quantum effects, we created nanocomputers, and one started talking back. we'd tapped into the fundamental powers of the universe with micro- 'zero point modules'. The voice told us how to expand that and intel helped create the sealed, no buttons, always - on 'godPod'. only a cable for microphone and earphone, if you don't get the interface implanted. World peace and prosperity ensues over 15 years as the 'godPod' is accepted as the messiah for all religions, as Buddha, Mohammed, etc. The pod gives personal and biz advice and everyone is successful. Like any good sci-fi has a twist ending. You'll have to read it to find out.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

If magnetic disks are cheaper and or faster than Nanotech storage devices, then the new technology will just find a new niche in the market, rather than replace an existing niche.

acarter
acarter

With no moving parts, it's gotta be faster. Cheaper...probably not for some time.

paulmah
paulmah

With nanotechnology coming over the horizon, is the magnetic (aka Winchester) hard disk drive truly on the way out?

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Flash memory will probably be the short-term replacement for smaller hard drive and some of the portable ones too. However, five or more years out nanotechnology will supplant both.

SamirBeMad
SamirBeMad

I mean at a business level, that would be the most important consideration...That and reliability...It should be the same for the average user...If a cost effective and reliable solution were to come out then I'm fairly certain that the magnetic disk would be on the way out... This however might take a long time in itself especially if nanotechnology has hardware requirements that are not already available in computers today...This would mean many people would continue using magnetic HDD until such time as their computers/servers etc die out or need replacement...This may easily take a decade or so... On the other hand, as with tape media, hard disk drives might just make a comeback if things come to such a point...

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