Magnetic Future

June 26, 2002 | Source: Technology Review

Researchers at GE and IBM are developing “patterned media”-based disks that hold between 30 and 40 gigabits per square centimeter, ten times the density of today’s products, and the storage density might be pushed to more than 150 gigabits per square centimeter.

The technology involves physically isolating a disk’s magnetic grains from one another on nanoscale “islands.” Currently, several hundred magnetic grains are needed to store a bit clearly, and if the grains become too small and densely packed, they lose their magnetic orientation. On an island, a bit might be stored stably with just one grain, allowing bits to be spaced more closely.