Mar 27, 2016

Heat-assisted storage could give you 10x more space on your computer’s drive

Posted by in categories: computing, media & arts

If you’re always running out of room for photos, videos, and music on your laptop, then science might have the answer. Using a laser to write data to magnetic storage, researchers have been able to increase the potential data storage capacity of hard drives by as much as 10 times — a process konwn as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR).

Our computers write, read, and store information by controlling and detecting whether tiny regions of the disk are magnetised or not. This magnetic state corresponds to either a “1” or a “0” in the binary code — known as a bit — and our files are stored across thousands (or millions) of these bits at once. So if we want more space, we need to find a way to shrink those magnetic regions — which are made up of magnetic grains. And that’s where this new development comes in.

As Gizmodo reports, the new technique relies on shrinking the size of the magnetic grains used to store data, while minimising the interference with surrounding grains, and the researchers have now done that more effectively than ever before by using a precise laser alongside a magnetic field.

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