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posted by Cactus on Saturday March 08 2014, @07:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-spin-me-right-round dept.

janrinok writes:

"There is still much research being carried out with rotating drive technology despite the arrival of SSDs on the scene. When using an electrical field in conjunction with a magnetic field, it is possible to change the magnetic arrangement in a material much more quickly than is possible using magnetic field alone.

A report from Science Daily notes:

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have now changed the magnetic arrangement in a material much faster than is possible with today's hard drives. The researchers used a new technique where an electric field triggers these changes, in contrast to the magnetic fields commonly used in consumer devices. This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled. Applied in future devices, this kind of strong interaction between magnetic and electric properties can have numerous advantages. For instance, an electrical field can be generated more easily in a device than a magnetic one.

In the experiment, the changes in magnetic arrangement took place within a picosecond (a trillionth of a second) and could be observed with x-ray flashes at the American x-ray laser LCLS. The flashes are so short that you can virtually see how the magnetization changes from one image to the next - similar to how we are able to capture the movement of an athlete with a normal camera in a series of images with a short exposure time. In future, such experiments should also be possible at PSI's new research facility, the x-ray laser SwissFEL. The results will be published in the journal Science.

Whether this becomes economically viable for mass-produced drives is yet to be seen."

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by FatPhil on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:08PM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday March 08 2014, @08:08PM (#13291) Homepage
    This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled.

    Unlike things that obey the laws discovered by Gauss/Faraday/Maxwell? Which we generally call "everything".
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  • (Score: 1) by EETech1 on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:25PM

    by EETech1 (957) on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:25PM (#13309)

    So, if my maths don't fail e...

    They say it can write a bit in "picoseconds 10^-12 seconds"

    So 1bit/picosecond = 1 Terabit/second = 1000 gigabit/second

    Even if it took 5 picoseconds to write, and 5 picoseconds more to rotate to a new bit on the platter (someone please calculate the platter speed for this!) at 10 picoseconds per bit, you could still write at 100 gigabits per second?

    Imagine filling a Terabyte hard drive in under 100 seconds.

    • (Score: 2) by Boxzy on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:42PM

      by Boxzy (742) on Saturday March 08 2014, @09:42PM (#13313) Journal

      My Maths isn't good enough to figure out the platter speed but I'm pretty sure it's enough to make this irrelevant. For the last 4 or 5 generations of drives its platter density not speed of writing bits that holds back throughput, 10000 rpm drives have almost disappeared, 7200 rpm are standard and 5400 drives are not far behind.

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    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SlimmPickens on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:02PM

      by SlimmPickens (1056) on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:02PM (#13321)

      Even if it took 5 picoseconds to write, and 5 picoseconds more to rotate to a new bit on the platter

      According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] the rotational latency of a 15k drive is 2ms and the best possible seek time is 4 ms (consumer drives are 4/9 and mobile drives can be 6/12). So without improving the rpm and the seek time this technology will do basically nothing.

      • (Score: 1) by GDX on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:55PM

        by GDX (1950) on Saturday March 08 2014, @10:55PM (#13337)

        It can do at least two things, bust the capacity and the throughput.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SlimmPickens on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:25PM

          by SlimmPickens (1056) on Saturday March 08 2014, @11:25PM (#13345)

          It can do at least two things, bust the capacity and the throughput.

          I only skimmed TFA but I'm pretty sure there's nothing in there about improving density. Unless they can somehow make larger or faster platters (which would be a worthwhile story) it's not even going to improve sustained transfer.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:02AM (#13474)

    If the bit density doesn't increase, it's not going to help spinning platter HDDs much because I doubt manufacturers are going to do 30000rpm drives.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @02:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @02:23AM (#13719)

      >30000 rpm drives

      i wish i could slap two maxtor drives together and call it a day...