World record data density for ferroelectric recording

Aug 17, 2010

Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have recorded data at a density of 4 trillion bits per square inch, which is a world record for the experimental "ferroelectric" data storage method. As described the journal Applied Physics Letters, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, this density is about eight times the density of today's most advanced magnetic hard-disk drives.

The data-recording device scans a tiny cantilever tip that rides in contact with the surface of a ferroelectric material. To write data, an electric pulse is sent through the tip, changing the electric polarization and nonlinear dielectric constant of a tiny circular spot in the substrate beneath. To read data, the same tip detects the variations in nonlinear dielectric constant in the altered regions.

"We expect this ferroelectric data storage system to be a candidate to succeed magnetic hard disk drives or , at least in applications for which extremely high data density and small physical volume is required," said Dr. Yasuo Cho.

In earlier experiments, the researchers had noticed one problem: When the data being written required that several consecutive marks be written next to each other, the written polarized regions expanded the normal diameter and coalesced to the point the bits were not distinct. Cho and Kenkou Tanaka then developed a method for anticipating strings of consecutive marks in the data and reducing the writing-pulse voltage by up to about 10 percent, which resulted in clear and distinct data marks.

While ferroelectric storage has the advantage of using only electric methods -- nothing magnetic or thermal -- to achieve its record-high density, Cho and Tanaka are well aware that many practical improvements would be needed for commercial viability. Such advances would include increasing the speed and accuracy of reading the data and developing a low-cost ferroelectric substrate.

Another risk is that existing data storage technologies continue to improve beyond the ferroelectric's capabilities. Disk drive maker Seagate, for example, has said it can envision achieving a density of 50 trillion bits per square inch.

Explore further: 'Mind the gap' between atomically thin materials

Provided by American Institute of Physics

4 /5 (12 votes)

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DaveGee
5 / 5 (3) Aug 17, 2010
It's astounding that mechanical spinning platter based magnetic media has shown such an ability to keep up. To the point of disappointment in my mind... Mechinical storage needs to go away to alllow a more resilient form of storage to carry on the challenge. Unfortunatly, with HDD continuing to double it's capacity every 1.5 years or so it makes it that much harder for new technologies to gain the funding and economies of scale needed to become true successors.

It's very much my belief SDD is gaining a foothold .... one, because they are faster than HDD but the bigger factor is because people feel very much like I do and really want to actively support a solid state successor. Unfortunatly, it's hard to do when just 12 months ago 1TB drives were selling for 150 or so and now you can buy 1.5TB drives for 79 or even less.

How can any emerging tech compete with that kind of advancement?
Parsec
5 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
Sure. No matter how much storage HDD can offer, it will always be limited by access time. SDD has orders of magnitude faster seek times, and much faster I/O times.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
Well, it seems that you rarely have one way of doing things in life. It will probably be the case well into the future that one technology will have a greater storage capacity and another will have faster access time with a somewhat reduced storage density. You'll have to decide which is best based on your application.
holoman
not rated yet Aug 17, 2010
Holographic storage using ferroelectric / multiferroics going 3D therefore would have densities of .2 to .5 Petabits = 200 to 500 Terabits sq. in. / 40 Petabits = 40,000 to 100 Petabits = 100,000 Terabits cu.cm. or 200,000 to 500,000 Gigabits sq.in. / 40,000,000 to 100,000,000 Gigabits cu.cm. with symmetrical read / write times of < 10 picoseconds for 100 year non-volatile storage having infinite rewrites would be outdistancing and other known storage concepts.
StarDust21
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2010
Holographic storage using ferroelectric / multiferroics going 3D therefore would have densities of .2 to .5 Petabits = 200 to 500 Terabits sq. in. / 40 Petabits = 40,000 to 100 Petabits = 100,000 Terabits cu.cm. or 200,000 to 500,000 Gigabits sq.in. / 40,000,000 to 100,000,000 Gigabits cu.cm. with symmetrical read / write times of < 10 picoseconds for 100 year non-volatile storage having infinite rewrites would be outdistancing and other known storage concepts.

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