Scientists make storage breakthrough

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Scientists make storage breakthrough

EMBEDDED]Computer hard drives could suddenly become much faster, thanks to a new technology that uses heat to write information to the magnetic storage systems, instead of magnetic fields, The Daily Mail reports.

Drives using the technology will be hundreds of times faster than previous drives, say University of York researchers - able to record thousands of gigabytes per second.

The researchers found they could record information using only heat - previously unimaginable.

According to Tech News World, there is "still some way to go before femtosecond lasers could be employed in hard drives”.

The international team of researchers used an ultra-short pulse of heat to reverse the poles in a ferrimagnet in order to write the data.

"It was, until now, generally accepted that a directional stimulus must reverse magnetisation," University of York scientist Thomas Ostler said. "We have now shown that there is something missing in the conventional picture. Using very short heat pulses of around 50 femtoseconds, we have found a way to reverse magnetisation without the need for a directional stimulus."

Today's storage technology uses the standard magnetic theory of North and South poles of a magnet being attracted to each other, with the same directional poles repelling one another, IT Pro notes.

Then, by introducing a third magnetic field, the poles are inverted and write a piece of data to the storage.

By increasing the strength of the third magnet, the speed of the information being written could be ramped up.

The new research shows, rather than adding a third magnetic field, heat could be added in the form of an 'ultrashort heat pulse' and have a much stronger reaction, speeding up data recording hundreds of times over.

Tarryn Giebelmann

Tarryn Giebelmann, ITWeb's Sub-Editor

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