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"Colossal Magnetic Effect" Could Lead To Another Breakthrough In Storage Tech

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the size-matters dept.

Data Storage 105

Bryant writes "Scientists with the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered what could bring yet another massive advance in memory and storage. The discovery, a magnetoresistence literally 'up to 1000 times more powerful' than the Giant Magnetoresistence Effect discovered roughly 20 years ago, which led to one of the major breakthroughs in memory, seems to be a result of high-pressure interactions between Manganites. Manganites aren't new to this game; MRAM uses Manganite layers to achieve the Magnetic Tunnel Effect needed to keep the state of memory stable. Applying significant amounts of pressure to known tech-useful materials isn't a new trick; you might recall the recent breakthrough with Europium superconductivity thanks to similar high-pressure antics."

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bike, nigga stole my bike! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227257)

aadddrriiiaannn

Re:bike, nigga stole my bike! (0, Offtopic)

Rip Dick (1207150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230865)

NOW how am I to train for my upcoming bout against PISTON HONDA?!?!?!?!

c u on the island... (-1, Offtopic)

IlluminatedOne (621945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227267)

So this is what happens when you don't push the button....got it.

Re:c u on the island... (0, Offtopic)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28232195)

Who modded that offtopic?

Just because Lost is shit is no reason to downmod the poor souls who still watch it.

Magnetic Tunnel Effect (-1, Offtopic)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227281)

I thought the magnetic tunnel effect was achieved with a slutty girl with a new tongue ring

Re:Magnetic Tunnel Effect (1, Informative)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228029)

Your mother's tongue ring wasn't made of ferrous materials.

Re:Magnetic Tunnel Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228505)

man, I understand the concept of trolling, but really... some humans are just fucking defective, even by human standards...

And if we can predict anything... (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227293)

This discovery seems to still be in the very preliminary stages. It is premature to conclude that this will lead to substantial improvements. Putting things under high pressure is difficult and keeping them under high pressure is really hard (although from my minimal physics understanding it looks like this could be used to assist in low pressure situations also).

One thing is certain. If this does lead to improvement in memory we'll have a few months of people asking whatever they could do with all that memory. And then a few years after they'll complain that it isn't enough.

Re:And if we can predict anything... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227341)

People tell me that 7 gigs right now would be overkill.

We'll wait till Crysis 2 comes out...

You just watch, new Ram from magnetic discoveries, DX11 release, the boom in multi-core computing...

Even Next Gen consoles will be amazing

Re:And if we can predict anything... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229389)

Even Next Gen consoles will be amazing

The problem with consoles or even PC gaming is the fact that humans have physical limitations in hearing, sight, smell and touch. It is no good having sound systems that produce frequencies beyond the threshold of human hearing and it is rather pointless producing a display that our eyes cannot detect any improvement over a lesser detailed display. Basically that leaves smell and touch to be explored with regard to interaction, however this area is highly subjective.

If you look at improvements in consoles and PC from the 1980's these have been significant however we are now rapidly approaching the limits of human senses and with sound we exceeded what we can possibly hear decades ago, this leaves sight and looking at what is now being produced with PC, PS3 and Xbox360 we are now approaching what human eyes are capable of resolving.

We'll wait till Crysis 2 comes out...

My son has Crysis on his gaming PC and he has a full 1080p (1920x1080 resolution) 24in screen and an excellent sound system. If he changes the Crysis resolution to something less then 1080p you can pick it but it but it not a huge discernible difference. Like wise if I display a game or movie that outputs 1080p to a similarly sized (say 42in) 1080p and also a 720p HDTV you will pick the difference but it is not hugely different. Of course if you increase the screen size to a 55in HDTV the difference is more pronounced. If HDTV manufactures go to higher resolutions you would find that you can have screen sizes of 100in or more but how many living rooms at the moment support this and how close do you want to be from the screen.

I do think that the only way to keep increasing performance in games is to actually heighten human senses and this is going to be a topic that is going to be very interesting in the fairly near future.

Speed and latency matters (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227405)

I don't think I'd be complaining much about huge amounts of cheap storage.

However I'd complain about low bandwidth and high latency.

Imagine if you have 100TB drives but they only do sequential transfers at 200MB/sec and are still stuck at about 10milliseconds access time (7200rpm).

What that means: it'll take 6 days to transfer 100TB at 200MB/sec, and random transfer speeds will be about as crap as now (1-2MB/sec).

Re:Speed and latency matters (2, Insightful)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227995)

That's a bit conservative. 100 times more density means 10 times more data per rotation. So more like 1GB/sec. Besides, who cares how long your site backup takes or how long it takes to fill up your DVR? That's where spinning disks are going. For random access there's SSD's and then probably MRAM.

On an unrelated note, did it take anybody else 5 tries to not read TFA as "High pressure XKCD is a newly developed technique..."

Re:Speed and latency matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229125)

On an unrelated note, did it take anybody else 5 tries to not read TFA as "High pressure XKCD is a newly developed technique..."

Absolutely not. I would never stoop so low so as to read TFA.

Re:Speed and latency matters (4, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229507)

Besides, who cares how long your site backup takes or how long it takes to fill up your DVR? That's where spinning disks are going.

Any business that want to remain in business cares significantly about backup times. Basically you want to backup as quickly as possible (ie. not during business hours) and if required recover just as quickly. Even with disk to disk backups (great and relatively cheap for home use) you are always going to have a latency problem. Unfortunately the more elaborate a backup and recovery strategy is the more expensive it becomes.

As for a DVR this is normally up to the household although it can be quite funny or stressful when you want backup up you favourite program and you have no more space on the disk. Mass panic to clean up normally happens. Anyone in the IT industry has seen this on a regular basis.

It must be remembered that backups are not about just recovering data to existing systems if required it is about recovering from disasters as well. It is quite scary that many companies have a half hearted approach to backup and recovery and many don't even go through the exercise of testing a disaster recovery scenario since they think it is going to be disruptive or is going to cost too much. Of course these companies are basically a disaster waiting to happen however it is very difficult for IT to explain to management that they need to test their disaster recovery processes when management can't understand that their own PC's need backing up (at least their user data) as well.

Re:Speed and latency matters (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231683)

Yeah you're probably going to be right since:

Modern 1TB drive = 120MB/sec
Old 10GB drive= 10MB/sec

But wise people care how long the site backups take. Because if the site _restore_ takes as long it's a problem. So that probably means moving to a "hot standby" sort of backup- which won't be as cheap since you'd need extra stuff - running live off your only backup system is not a good idea.

As for saying "for random access" there's SSDs, does that mean more of us will be using SSDs in the future, and fewer of us using 100TB drives? Or are Seagate and friends going to embed small flash buffers in their drives?

The buffers won't help for sustained random writes, but one would hope most random writes are bursts.

BTW many current Flash SSDs are slower for random writes. While Intel's are at about 23MB/sec, the rest can be amazingly bad - many even worse than "spinning disc drives"!

See: http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3531 [anandtech.com]

Look for: "4KB Random Write Speed"

Re:Speed and latency matters (2, Interesting)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28232643)

I wonder... what if you had a radial strip of GMR heads instead of a single read head? Thermal expansion means you'd still need a "fine tune" coil. It would be like putting an inch ruler next to a centimeter ruler. Only a handful of lines mate up, but give it a tiny bump and you get a whole new set of mates. Splatter large files across the disk. They would read in as a jumble but you could reassemble in cache. Probably crazy but I swear it works great in my head ;)

Re:Speed and latency matters (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28234347)

Could be more expensive than it's worth for the drive maker to build. They'd rather sell more drives for RAID10. Since the exact same drives could be sold to those who don't want the extra performance. Thus they get economies of scale.

Whereas it seems (even from the responses here) that most people are quite happy with the current drive sequential speeds, so they wouldn't pay extra for a larger multihead.

Similar reasons why multiple independent heads haven't taken off:

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/actMultiple-c.html [pcguide.com]

Re:Speed and latency matters (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228007)

So, we'd be where we're at right now, just with 100x the storage? That wouldn't be too bad in my book.

Re:Speed and latency matters (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229545)

So, we'd be where we're at right now, just with 100x the storage? That wouldn't be too bad in my book.

And a 100 times the backup requirement.. I would like to see the IT manager explain this to Management..

Re:Speed and latency matters (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228259)

I think by then i-RAM [gigabyte.com.tw] will have more capacity.

Re:Speed and latency matters (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228797)

That would be great until the power went out for 8 hours and your on-board battery went dead along with all of your data.

The old saying (1)

mac1235 (962716) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228527)

Don't underestimate the bandwidth of station wagon full of magnetic tapes, could be updated: Don't underestimate the bandwidth of a briefcase full of Colossal(Tm) hard disks? Don't underestimate the size of my portable drive, I've got every song that made it into the charts in every country on this Colossal(Tm) thing. Jenna Jameson 2010, 200Mb/sec required for ColossalVision(Tm)

Re:Speed and latency matters (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228889)

Imagine if you have 100TB drives but they only do sequential transfers at 200MB/sec and are still stuck at about 10milliseconds access time (7200rpm).

Fine with me. rsync rocks. Tape drives, and particularly optical drives (CDs/DVDs/MOs), have FAR WORSE performance characteristics, and they all refuse to die.

Maybe we'll just see Flash take the place of smaller HDDs, and large slow HDDs take the place of tapes and most uses of optical media.

Re:And if we can predict anything... (5, Informative)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229071)

This is not new, nor truly preliminary technology; I researched this back in 2004 and there was already a huge amount in the literature. It's just an incremental improvement and uses by and large existing thin film technologies pushed to their limit.

Most people didn't even notice the transition from regular magnetorestrictive heads to giant magnetoresistive heads, they were just incorporated naturally so that hard drive densities could further increase. This technology is the obvious and natural extension from giant magnetoresistive heads, and the increased signal to noise ratio will allow for denser drives with no doubt -- although we're already at the point where a "bit" is only made up of a few dozen magnetic domains. But in any case, this type of technology is a prerequisite for using more highly nanocrystalline magnetic materials with smaller domains...

Re:And if we can predict anything... (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231209)

The article said 230,000 times atmospheric pressure. I guess this would bring a new dimension to the term "my memory blew up" ... I imagine it would be a lot more dramatic than just letting out the smoke!

Storage.... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227303)

The problem isn't storage its speed. Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of. On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck. Storage isn't a problem.

Re:Storage.... (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227345)

It's a combination of persistence, random I/O and storage actually.

SSDs are good at the first two, but still have catching up to do on the latter (and price...), but as soon as a reasonably priced 1TB version comes out, that'll be a great boon...

Re:Storage.... (5, Informative)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227923)

It's a combination of persistence, random I/O and storage actually.

SSDs are good at the first two, but still have catching up to do on the latter (and price...), but as soon as a reasonably priced 1TB version comes out, that'll be a great boon...

Though I do agree that SSD's are definitely the next big thing when it comes to computer performance, there are a lot of things that need to happen before they become the definitive standard in storage. As you mention, the price/GB ratio needs to come down, but in addition to that:

- SATA 3 needs to come out. Though most SSD's don't exceed SATA 2 bus speeds, higher end SSD's like the OCZ Vertex or Intels X-25m hit 250MB/s sustained speeds. ONFi (open nand flash alliance? something like that) recently announced what is essentially the NAND 2.0 standard which doubles the speed of NAND modules, meaning next generation SSD's could easily hit sustained speeds of 500MB/s without any special tricks like internal raid. SSD's are already faster, but for better futureproof-ness and the ability to get the full potential out of SSD's, bus speeds need to increase quite a bit.

- TRIM needs to get at more OS's and SSD's support. SSD's write performance degrades with use due to a combination of the mechanics of NAND flash itself and common wear leveling algorithms. Essentially what happens is that when reading the flash blocks, all the SSD has to do is pass over and read the data. When writing though, if the block was previously written to the SSD has to erase the entire block clean and *then* write it. This is further exacerbated on MLC SSD's, where the individual transistors each store 2 bits, which on average doubles the write time with the benefit of double the space for the same price (instead of 0 or 1 like a SLC SSD, each one stores either 00, 01, 10, or 11). TRIM effectively eliminates a step from the write process on a previously used SSD by erasing blocks marked as free by the OS during an idle period, which means that write speeds degrade less over time.

- Manufacturing processes need to mature, as well as firmwares, wear-leveling algorithms, and filesystems. Unlike platter hard drives SSD's don't have decades of optimization and experience, which means higher than acceptable failure rates, extra consumer knowledge required to properly install and maintain, OS tweaks needed to fully exploit the current capabilities of SSD's, and certain technologies just not being available yet (a recent ext4 v btrfs SSD comparison on phoronix showed that btrfs was much much slower than ext4 despite the potential for btrfs to be better optimized for SSD's).

My personal belief is that by the time SSD's are halfway done with all of the above (including price/GB), they will overtake traditional HDD's in the market. The advantages of SSD's are already here and apparent, they are just expensive and a relatively young technology with a few growing pains. By the time the growing pains are half resolved SSD's will be much superior in just about every way possible, and then they will really really take off.

Re:Storage.... (3, Interesting)

Artemis3 (85734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229351)

I think by then MRAM [wikipedia.org] will be ready to take over all memory needs and possibly mass storage needs.

MRAM is: Fast like SRAM, less power hungry than DRAM (no refresh!), and keeps its state like flash, but without degrading when written to... Its obvious this will make all other types obsolete.

Re:Storage.... (4, Insightful)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231265)

With the current market focused on exploiting economies of scale to produce the current generation of high density FLASH in 65nm processes. So far this has been VERY lucrative for the companies that bet the farm on building dedicated 65nm fabs for FLASH.

IMO: MRAM has unfortunately come a little late to the party. In it's current role it is kind of the Beta Max of the solid-state storage device market.

Currently only Freescale produces MRAM in any quantity, and they currently only produce 4Mbit parts on a couple of 180nm fabs.

I don't think there is any question that MRAM has the potential to meet or exceed FLASH on the density/price curve. What might keep it out of the high-density market is one of it's great inherent strengths; it doesn't wear out. Who wants to sell storage modules that don't EOL themselves? Try and sell that to your pointy-haired boss' pointy-haired boss...
----
General Electric wasn't interested in mass manufactured light bulbs until Edison figured out how to get them to FAIL reliably.

For them that doesn't know: Edison's original design was a carbon impregnated cotton filament, in as near a total vacuum as could be produced in those days. It didn't suffer from filament migration, and other effects that cause modern bulbs to fail. If the original design had been refined as it was, General Electric could have saturated the market for light bulbs in a relatively short time, and been driven out of the market due to the Edison bulb having no predictable EOL.

Re:Storage.... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231907)

For them that doesn't know: Edison's original design was a carbon impregnated cotton filament, in as near a total vacuum as could be produced in those days. It didn't suffer from filament migration, and other effects that cause modern bulbs to fail. If the original design had been refined as it was, General Electric could have saturated the market for light bulbs in a relatively short time, and been driven out of the market due to the Edison bulb having no predictable EOL.

Conspiracy theory. The problem with 'last forever' incandescent bulbs is that they're horrible at efficiency. 'Energy Miser' bulbs tend to last a bit shorter than standard bulbs because their filament's are thinner.

At around $1 for 4, the cost of the bulb is overwhelmed by the cost of the electricity.

Re:Storage.... (1)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28232147)

The problem with 'last forever' incandescent bulbs is that they're horrible at efficiency. 'Energy Miser' bulbs tend to last a bit shorter than standard bulbs because their filament's are thinner.

This wasn't true in the early part of the light-bulb story.
Efficiency was not a big consideration back then. Marketability WAS. Early bulbs cost considerably more than the electricity they consumed.

It took 30 years before tungsten was used in bulb filaments.

It wasn't until 1910 that tungsten filaments were commercially viable due to a process invented by W.D. Coolidge.

It took least another 50 years before we got to the "energy miser" bulb.

Re:Storage.... (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227393)

its both. Servers need both speed and storage. And alot of consumers, especially gamers want both. Plenty of people can fill up a hard drive with films, photos, music etc... yet want their applications and system to be resposive. Ive hear more and more of people using an SSD for their system for performance, and keeping a 'traditional' hard drive for mass storage. Having both says to me that they are just waiting for the costs to come down such that performance and storage are available on a single drive again

Re:Storage.... (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227481)

Having both says to me that they are just waiting for the costs to come down such that performance and storage are available on a single drive again

I doubt it. You can have a cheap, fast, or reliable drive or storage array. Pick two of the three qualities. As technology advances we redefine all three so that it's still just as difficult to have a cheap, fast, reliable drive. I'm sure somebody's coined a 'law' describing this.

Re:Storage.... (1)

Shooter28 (1564631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227681)

Cheap, fast, reliable?

What about storage capacity?

Re:Storage.... (5, Funny)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227397)

The problem isn't storage its speed. Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of. On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck. Storage isn't a problem.

Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

Re:Storage.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227593)

Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

No. He's saying that 1TB of RAM is almost enough to run Vista.

Re:Storage.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227601)

I heard the same said for 1GB, not 10 years ago.

Re:Storage.... (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228895)

I heard something about 640k being more than enough not much longer than that... of course, that was back in the days when we had manic miner on the zx spectrum... :) loved that game

Re:Storage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229681)

And it was true, up until fairly recently. I survived quite happily on 1GB of RAM from 2001 all the way through to about a year ago, when I scored a couple of free sticks and bumped it up to 2GB. It's only in the last couple of years that your average home user has had any use for more than a gig.

Re:Storage.... (2, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227861)

Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video. If current trends continue, we're fast approaching the point where we really *can* store ALL movies ever produced on a single backpack HDD. We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10. At that time, you can record every second of your life on a single HDD, in RAW format.

With strong lossy compression you can do it now.

The Dollhouse isn't so horribly far away....

Re:Storage.... (2, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228121)

"Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video. If current trends continue, we're fast approaching the point where we really *can* store ALL movies ever produced on a single backpack HDD. "

You already can store every movie in the world as long as you don't mind the quality. We still can't store all movies in the world in HD-quality. If we offer a huge storage place people will come up with ways to fill it. That's always been the case and it probably will always be the case.

Re:Storage.... (1)

acheron12 (1268924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228563)

Well spluh. We'll need more space for those 3D virtual reality movies where you can view the battle from behind the second soldier on the left's shoulder, while noting that he needs to wash his shirt more often.

Re:Storage.... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228897)

Seriously, have you even started to wonder why there are so many IMAX 3D releases these days? You wanna guess how much space one of those takes up on a hard drive?

Re:Storage.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229317)

700 MB compressed

Re:Storage.... (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230599)

You already can store every movie in the world as long as you don't mind the quality.

and the MPAA lawsuits...

Re:Storage.... (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228489)

No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video.

Sure -- of DVD-quality video. Of course, significantly less of HD video, and even less of, say, Ultra HD with 22.2 channel sound.

We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10.

Sure, if you assume that the growth rate is exponential without bound. OTOH, technologies of all types often flatten out as they mature, and a logistic growth pattern (which looks exponential in its early phase) is perhaps more reasonable of a long-term expectation.

At that time, you can record every second of your life on a single HDD, in RAW format.

Assuming that you are doing uncompressed, 8 bit/channel RGB images at a measly 640x480 resolution, 1 image per second, 1 PB will only get you less than 39 years of images, so your statement is only true with extremely low resolution images, or short lives.

Re:Storage.... (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28234691)

We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10.

I wouldn't count on it. We've only gone from 1TB to 2TB in the past 2 1/2 years. Things are definently slowing down in the harddrive industry.

Re:Storage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227969)

I know that's a Gates quote, but I work for a data management company that specializes in oil seismic data. I'm using 13TB of data and I'm only 1/8th the way through the project.

Re:Storage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227409)

Except rendering projects.

Re:Storage.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227509)

imagine having a beowulf cluster of these new drives... no, seriously!

instead of one big disk with a slow read write time, you could make a drive with multiple small disks, get a write time 10-20x faster, and have a larger capacity overall.

Re:Storage.... (2, Informative)

OpenGLFan (56206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227529)

I'd love it. Bring it on -- the bigger and slower, the better. Ever since big, slow backup tapes stopped being significantly larger than the drives they backed up, keeping important info safe has been a nontrivial task. If you can back up an enterprise's 20GB-a-day data generation habit with an array of slow-but-reliable 10-20TB drives, then your life gets a lot easier.

Re:Storage.... (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227539)

Simple. Just have a 1TB cache.

Re:Storage.... (4, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227691)

If you're thinking home computers, maybe.

For a lot of businesses, 1TB isn't that much. We have systems with well over 1TB of data, to which over 5GB of new data are added every day, with an accelerating rate of new data coming in (as the systems model more fo the business, in more detail, etc.).

Historically these scales have only increased over time, and nothing is evident that would show that slowing down any time soon.

Now, do you want all that storage in one HDD? Probably not; there are pros and cons. But, there are absolutely applications where the desired amount of storage on a device exceeds what you could get today. It's not all about how many movies you can torrent.

Re:Storage.... (2, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228047)

I do IT work for a (small) Geoscience company. Currently they have projects taking up about 10TB worth of data on-line, and growing exponentially. Often, new SEGY data comes in the form of a 500GB to 1TB portable drives (near capacity) as keeping up with tape technologies no longer makes much sense. It's as though the guys on the boat says "We have this much storage? No problem, let's dial up the data resolution boys".

God damn, the company I work for can hardly scope out enough storage long term to keep them afloat! I'm sure many in IT are facing the same problem with the Geoscience industry.

Re:Storage.... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228793)

growing exponentially

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Storage.... (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229521)

I believe you are correct, but your comment seems to imply the term is not being used properly. Your point is rendered moot for this discussion, as exponential growth is used correctly in this instance.

I submit that you are limiting the bounds of the exponent without reason.

Re:Storage.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228543)

You have no idea. Two jobs ago (and 3 years ago), the commercial systems I was working on at a Geophysics place had about 1.3 Petabytes of online, actively accessed hard drive storage.

Re:Storage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228355)

The problem isn't storage its speed. Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of. On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck. Storage isn't a problem.

So drop some SSDs in front to act as read (MLC) and write (SLC) caches:

http://blogs.sun.com/studler/entry/zfs_and_the_hybrid_storage
http://mags.acm.org/communications/200807/?pg=49

Sun calls this "hybrid storage".

Re:Storage.... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228839)

Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of.

Sure there is.

HDTV takes about 8GBytes/hour. That's just ~120 hours on a a terabyte HDD, or perhaps a month of TV viewing. Now, you're not going to want to save EVERYTHING you view, but you'll probably fill-up a second terabyte drive within a year. Quicker if you're saving blu-ray movies as well.

So, while it isn't as big of a constraint as it once was, we could still use more space...

On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck.

So RAID-0 your drives... Instantly double the speed. And if you really can't find a way to use the space, buy a pair of 500GB drives instead of 1x 1TB drive. With the popularity of SATA RAID controllers, most systems can easily enough have 4 HD drives in a RAID set. Are you suggesting that 4x the transfer speed of the best 10kRPM drives still isn't fast enough for you?

Re:Storage.... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229751)

So RAID-0 your drives... Instantly double the speed. And if you really can't find a way to use the space, buy a pair of 500GB drives instead of 1x 1TB drive. With the popularity of SATA RAID controllers, most systems can easily enough have 4 HD drives in a RAID set. Are you suggesting that 4x the transfer speed of the best 10kRPM drives still isn't fast enough for you?

RAID-0 is a stripe which has no redundancy so loose a drive and you loose all your data. RAID-5 is a safer solution although effectively you cannot use one disk so a four disk RAID-5 has an effective data size of three disks. RAID-5 does not have a good write performance compared to RAID-0 but that it the price you need to pay for redundancy. Of course you could use another RAID-0 array as your backup. You have considered backup haven't you?

Basically the greater the data the more valuable it becomes and therefore the greater the need to back it up. You also have to consider the capacity of the data backbone, after all it is pointless if your array can handle 1GB/sec when your cables/fibre can only handle 100MB/sec. In a commercial environment it is amazing that companies buy high performing storage arrays and don't invest in increased network (include SAN as well) bandwidths and speeds then complain of performance bottle necks. What is even worse is investing in high performance backup solutions and not buffering the backup data for streaming so you have backups which go over 24 hours when you could put in a virtual storage library which in turn spools off to tape that can reduce your backups to a few hours. It must be noted that what I have just touched on are enterprise solutions which are way beyond the purchase of home systems.

Re:Storage.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28230799)

I work for a company that routinely processes videos of several hours runtime, extracts still images from them etc. Let me tell you that 1 TiB of disk space isn't really that much.

But on top of that, as you correctly point out, it becomes even worse if you start putting houndreds of thousands jpegs on these things and have to find a program that reliably copies and checks them. Hint: Don't try windows explorer. Robocopy works fine as does BeyondCompare. Most others fail somewhere near 150.000 files, which usually happens after several hours into the process and leaves you with an inconsistent state which means you might have to start all over again.

Re:Storage.... (1)

bn-7bc (909819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231687)

Hmm can you please post a link to a 1TB 2.5in HDD tha toes not cost an arm an a leg? I know that large cheap HDDs exsist but not for laptops
 

so we just need 2 diamonds per bit (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227313)

well, atleast it will be cheaper than SSS's

Re:so we just need 2 diamonds per bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227589)

SSS's eh?
Super Solid Snakes?
Is that going to be the next enemy in MGS5?

Re:so we just need 2 diamonds per bit (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228219)

well, atleast it will be cheaper than SSS's

Yup, the thermal shield on Super-Sonic Sandwiches is made out of pure Unobtainium.
We really should start work on a replacement for that.

Article text in case of slashdot (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227347)

Argonne, ILâ"Millions of people today carry around pocket-sized music players capable of holding thousands of songs, thanks to the discovery 20 years ago of a phenomenon known as the âoegiant magnetoresistance effect,â which made it possible to pack more data onto smaller and smaller hard drives. Now scientists are on the trail of another phenomenon, called the âoecolossal magnetoresistance effectâ (CMR) which is up to a thousand times more powerful and could trigger another revolution in computing technology. Understanding, and ultimately controlling, this effect and the intricate coupling between electrical conductivity and magnetism in these materials remains a challenge, however, because of competing interactions in manganites, the materials in which CMR was discovered. In the June 12, 2009, issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, a team of researchers report new progress in using high pressure techniques to unravel the subtleties of this coupling.

To study the magnetic properties of manganites, a form of manganese oxide, the research team, led by Yang Ding of the Carnegie Institutionâ(TM)s High Pressure Synergetic Center (HPSync), applied techniques called x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and angular-dispersive diffraction at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. High pressure XMCD is a newly developed technique that uses high-brilliance circularly polarized x-rays to probe the magnetic state of a material under pressures of many hundreds of thousands of atmospheres inside a diamond anvil cell.

The discovery of CMR in manganite compounds has already made manganites invaluable components in technological applications. An example is magnetic tunneling junctions in soon-to-be marketed magnetic random access memory (MRAM), where the tunneling of electrical current between two thin layers of manganite material separated by an electrical insulator depends on the relative orientation of magnetization in the manganite layers. Unlike conventional RAM, MRAM could yield instant-on computers. However, no current theories can fully explain the rich physics, including CMR effects, seen in manganites.

âoeThe challenge is that there are competing interactions in manganites among the electrons that determine magnetic properties,â said Ding. âoeAnd the properties are also affected by external stimuli, such as, temperature, pressure, magnetic field, and chemical doping.â

âoePressure has a unique ability to tune the electron interactions in a clean and theoretically transparent manner,â he added. âoeIt is a direct and effective means for manipulating the behavior of electrons and could provide valuable information on the magnetic and electronic properties of manganite systems. But of all the effects, pressure effects have been the least explored.â

The researchers found that when a manganite was subjected to conditions above 230,000 times atmospheric pressure it underwent a transition in which its magnetic ordering changed from a ferromagnetic type (electron spins aligned) to an antiferromagnetic type (electron spins opposed). This transition was accompanied by a non-uniform structural distortion called the Jahn-Teller effect.

âoeIt is quite interesting to observe that uniform compression leads to a non-uniform structural change in a manganite, which was not predicted by theory,â said Ding, âoeWorking with Michel van Veenendaalâ(TM)s theoretical group at APS, we found that the predominant effect of pressure on this material is to increase the strength of an interaction known as superexchange relative to another known as the double exchange interaction. A consequence of this is that the overall ferromagnetic interactions in the system occur in a plane (two dimensions) rather than in three dimensions, which produces a non-uniform redistribution of electrons. This leads to the structural distortion.â

Another intriguing response of manganite to high pressure revealed by the experiments is that the magnetic transition did not occur throughout the sample at the same time. Instead, it spread incrementally.

âoeThe results imply that even at ambient conditions, the manganite might already have two separate magnetic phases at the nanometer scale, with pressure favoring the growth of the antiferro-magnetic phase at the expense of the ferromagnetic phase,â said coauthor Daniel Haskel, a physicist at Argonneâ(TM)s APS. âoeManipulating phase separation at the nanoscale level is at the very core of nanotechnology and manganites provide an excellent playground to pursue this objectiveâ.

âoeThis work not only displays another interesting emergent phenomenon arising from the interplay between charge, spin, orbital and lattice in a strongly correlated electron system,â commented coauthor Dr. Ho-kwang Mao of Carnegieâ(TM)s Geophysical Laboratory, Director of HPSync,â but it also manifests the role of pressure in magnetism studies of dense matter.â

Image caption: The structure models for F-type and A-type magnetic ordering in manganite in response to pressure. The arrows inside orbitals indicate the spin direction of d electrons.

  Reference: Pressure-induced magnetic transition in manganite (La0.75Ca0.25MnO3) Yang Ding, Daniel Haskel, Yuan-Chieh Tseng, Eiji Kaneshita, Michel van Veenendaal, John Mitchell, Stanislav V. Sinogeikin, Vitali Prakapenka, and Ho-kwang Mao, Physical Review Letters, June 2009.

Massless advance in memory and storage (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227351)

In the future, instead of using disk compression, you can get your fat momma to sit on your computer.

Re:Massless advance in memory and storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227987)

Waddya mean "Troll"? That's funny as a fuck! I miss fat momma..

*Yo momma so fat even Bill Gates couldn't pay for her liposuction!* See? Bill Gates! On Topic! Fuck y'all! Everything technical is Bill Gates. And the motherfucker's always on the front page here..

Re:Massless advance in memory and storage (1)

JoCat (1291368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230277)

Ah, still using FAT32?

In Plain English... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227605)

...someone been watching too much Star Trek [voltaire.net] .

For shame (3, Insightful)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227639)

seems to be a result of high-pressure interactions between Manganites. Manganites aren't new to this game

For shame /. No comments or jokes on the obvious? Its right there for the taking.

Re:For shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228933)

Sooo... are you suggesting applying the pressure with giant hyperdimensional hammers from hammerspace [tvtropes.org] ?

New Tech (2, Funny)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227641)

At last! I hope my magnetic personality won't wipe this new technology as well.

Question. (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227895)

Where did you get your CS degree? I assume you have one, given your comment.

Re:Question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229163)

What the fuck is going on here?

It is great but ... (2, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227755)

Should that Giant Magnetoresistive? Someone else seems to so because the article is tagged "typoinsummary". Google and I haven't heard much about Great Magnetoresistive effect in the past, so unless it's some obscure term...

But hey, it's not my area of expertise and I certainly agree that with the sentiment that this magnetoresistive stuff is rather great!

Re:It is great but ... (1, Funny)

Lord Accium (1187171) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230077)

Someone else seems to so because

You accidentally the whole verb !

One wonders what they'll call the next discovery? (3, Funny)

cutecub (136606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227931)

How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

At some point, you run out of superlatives and need to go Exponential:

Magneto X 10^Super-Hyper-Colossal

-S

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228035)

Shouldn't there be a "Mega" in there somewhere?

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (2, Funny)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228099)

Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence-Effect-Mega-Zord! What the Power Rangers use to defeat the evil forces of insufficient memory.

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28230197)

now I know I'm getting old...power rangers references on slashdot, modded up.

huh.

X-Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228323)

> Magneto X 10^Super-Hyper-Colossal

But how do you get Magneto & Professor X to work together to produce it? That's the hard part...

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (2, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228817)

>>How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

Yeah, they were really short sided when they skipped directly from "giant" to "colossal". As all nerds know, the progression goes:
Fine -> Diminutive -> Tiny -> Small -> Medium -> Large -> Huge -> Gargantuan -> Colossal.

Since giants are Huge, the next step up in technology would be Gargantuan.

(And after Colossal comes Colossal+, of course.)

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (1)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28231305)

It's an unfortunate fact that the naming convention included an superlative... now they have to keep upping the ante each time a new property of magnetoresistance is discovered.

LMR Effect (2, Funny)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228855)

How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

I'm waiting for the Ludicrous Magnetoresistence Effect.

Re:LMR Effect (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229737)

the Magnetoresistance Effect has gone Plaid

Re:One wonders what they'll call the next discover (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229497)

Google-resistive.

Much like a lot of Slashdotters.

Those antics (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228119)

you might recall the recent breakthrough with Europium superconductivity thanks to similar high-pressure antics.

Well who wouldn't? *shakes head*

Gosh darn newfangled Europium superconductivity breakthroughs that come out of high-pressure antics. Kids these days.

Re:Those antics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228599)

Well, I do. News for nerds, remember?

This is not new (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228249)

Colossal magnetoresistance in manganites are discovered some 15+ years ago.
And this area has been very hot in recently years with tons of papers coming out every month. In fact I did my own masters thesis on this particular topic.
You guys should really check this out, it is so true...

This is not new (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228325)

Colossal magnetoresistance in manganites are discovered some 15+ years ago.
And this field is so hot in recently years that tons of papers come out every month. In fact I did my masters thesis just on this particular topic.
You guys should check this [phdcomics.com] out, it is so true.

Irony much? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228801)

You guys should check this [phdcomics.com] out, it is so true.

Yes. And that is the case ALL the time. We need special hats or something to protect us.

-FL

Actual application in spinning storage? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228353)

I suspect never. Very high pressures + spinning media doesn't work particularly well. Not to say this investigation will not lead to some interesting condensed matter physics, which in turn could lead to actual discoveries that make it to market.

Re:Actual application in spinning storage? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229147)

> Very high pressures + spinning media doesn't work particularly well.

There may be other ways to create the effect. That's the point.

Not that new (4, Informative)

booch (4157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228427)

When I did a presentation on hard drives [craigbuchek.com] 3 years ago, I had already read some things saying that the Colossal Magnetorsestive Effect was the next step in read-write head technology. The Wikipedia page says the effect was discovered in 1993. This new discovery might make it more feasible, but hard drive technology developers already knew that CMR would be a part of the technology going forward.

Re:Not that new (3, Informative)

Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229095)

Although to be fair, this seems to be describing Tunneling Magnetoresistance (actually the next incremental step in hard drive read heads), not the Colossal Magnetoresistive Effect, which only works in very special situations.

Did anyone else read the first few words and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228467)

... think "oh no, here is another 2012 crackpot article again"?

I was very pleased that it was not another 2012 crackpot article, i think i might have exploded into a colossal magnetic effect.

"Up to" (1)

algae (2196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229999)

2x more powerful, is included in the set of "up to" 1000x more powerful.

What's next? (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28233471)

Giant resistance? Colossal effect?

We're about two adjectives away from Ginormous.

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