Tuesday, February 7th 2012

Heat Key To Faster HDDs...Hundreds of Times Faster

Physicists have discovered a new method of recording data on hard drives that could potentially make mechanical hard drives hundreds of times faster (in terms of performance). Heat holds the key. A hard disk drive is a magnetic storage device, which, unlike magnetic tapes, allows random access. Its recording surfaces consist of hundreds of billions of tiny portions that can be magnetized in a particular polar direction to represent 0s or 1s. To create meaningful arrangements of these portions (bytes), the recording heads apply an external magnetic field to flip their polarities.

A team of researchers led by Thomas Ostler at the University of York, UK concluded that the process of flipping the polarities of these tiny portions can be greatly expedited using short bursts of heat. It has been believed that heat could only assist in remagnetization, when used in conjunction with a magnetic field. Research shows that this can also be achieved using a very, very precise amount of heat generated by beaming a fine laser for less than a trillionth of a second, which momentarily raises its temperature by 800 °C. The results of this study was published here.
Researchers say that the new method of magnetic recording can achieve terabytes per second (1000 GB/s) recording/reading speeds. The process also uses less energy than magnetic recording, meaning the new drives would be more energy efficient.Source: New Scientist, Image Courtesy Gizmodo
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42 Comments on Heat Key To Faster HDDs...Hundreds of Times Faster

#2
m1dg3t
Steevo said:
Cooling your hard drive is a waste anyway, it has been proven that cooler temps on hard drives results in earlier death.
I aint talkin' sub ambient, not like i'm gonna go out and get a couple Tech9 pot's for my HDD's :roll: My HDD's run between 33c - 40c well within spec's, never lost a drive in 10yrs :)
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
m1dg3t said:
Interesting, temperature has long been known to affect magnetization but to see it implemented in this manner is a first! Maybe i should pull the fan's off my HDD's :confused:
get them up to 900C and gimme speed tests



and nothing that i know of proved cooler temps killed drive (except sub ambient) - the only thing i know of proven there, was that normal temps (say, 40-60C) cause no problems. if drives were gunna fail, they just fail. temps only speed it up (and this was posted by google buying and using entire batches of drives)
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#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Steevo said:
At a few watts for a drive I don't really care about energy use, however I would like them to expound upon the terrabytes per second of reading and writing with their technology, as I am understanding this it uses a laser to write at a much higher speed onto magnetic media, but I'm not sure what they have done differently to make reading any faster?


Grant money hunt anyone?
Higher density most likely. HDDs are faster today than they were 10 years ago despite staying at 7200 RPM because more data passes under the head every rotation. If you increase the density by 100 times, you're likely to see a 100 times increase in read/write performance as well.


800C sounds a tad bit dangerous (not to mention power consuming) for consumer hardware though. If that's the temp of the laser and it only brings, say, 3 atoms thick of platter up to maybe 200C--it wouldn't take long at all for that to cool back down to ambient (milliseconds likely).
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#5
faramir
This sounds like re-discovery of writing process of magneto-optical drives from the 80s and 90s.

Those things used laser to heat up the recording area and store data magnetically. The difference seems to be in the way data is read out.
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#6
THE_EGG
So does that mean that if I take one of these HDD's apart I can use its laser as a spot welder ? :p
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#7
ypsylon
Yeap, very similar to MO. Used a lot MO. Unfortunately MO became simply obsolete because disk size never moved past 5.2GB. Would love to see MO/HDD back. SSDs are road to nowhere. Low reliability (MO beats SSD into oblivion), low capacity, insane price.
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#8
MikeMurphy
Fix the random access on magnetic drives and you've addressed the main issue. I don't know why they still use a moving arm. Other options exist.
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#9
faramir
MikeMurphy said:
Fix the random access on magnetic drives and you've addressed the main issue. I don't know why they still use a moving arm. Other options exist.
The first company to "invent" arms with multiple R/W heads on the same shaft is going to make lots of money ... more heads in parallel on the same platter means proportionally more throughput. Eventually the HDDs will turn into something similar to "line printers" of the old :)
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#10
Steevo
m1dg3t said:
I aint talkin' sub ambient, not like i'm gonna go out and get a couple Tech9 pot's for my HDD's :roll: My HDD's run between 33c - 40c well within spec's, never lost a drive in 10yrs :)
http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en/us/archive/disk_failures.pdf

35-40C is optimal temperature for disk life of 3 or less years, however if it won't fail in the third year it will likely last to at least five.
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#11
Static~Charge
THE_EGG said:
So does that mean that if I take one of these HDD's apart I can use its laser as a spot welder ? :p
Yes, but only for very small spots....
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#12
THE_EGG
Static~Charge said:
Yes, but only for very small spots....
hazah! :D
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#14
Mega-Japan
Batou1986 said:
brb benchmarking the raptor in the oven............
LOL
Oven would melt it. Me thinks microwave would have better results. Me thinks xD.
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#15
hellrazor
Mega-Japan said:
LOL
Oven would melt it. Me thinks microwave would have better results. Me thinks xD.
Fire is good for hard drives, and that's a fact.
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#16
Yo_Wattup
ypsylon said:
Yeap, very similar to MO. Used a lot MO. Unfortunately MO became simply obsolete because disk size never moved past 5.2GB. Would love to see MO/HDD back. SSDs are road to nowhere. Low reliability (MO beats SSD into oblivion), low capacity, insane price.
Low reliability? Whatchu smokin?

Mega-Japan said:
LOL
Oven would melt it. Me thinks microwave would have better results. Me thinks xD.
Microwaves react with electro magnetic devices. You seen a CD in a microwave? Youtube it. Then tell me its a good idea to put your HDD in... :roll:
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#17
THE_EGG
Yo_Wattup said:
Low reliability? Whatchu smokin?



Microwaves react with electro magnetic devices. You seen a CD in a microwave? Youtube it. Then tell me its a good idea to put your HDD in... :roll:
i think mega-japan was being sarcastic lol.
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