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New Technique Promises Much Faster Hard Drive Write Speeds

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the sharks-in-my-drives dept.

Data Storage 148

MrSeb writes "Hold onto your hats: Scientists at the University of York, England have completely rewritten the rules of magnetic storage (abstract; full paper paywalled). Instead of switching a magnetic region using a magnetic field (like a hard drive head), the researchers have managed to switch a ferrimagnetic nanoisland using a 60-femtosecond laser. Storing magnetic data using lasers is up to 1,000 times faster than writing to a conventional hard drive (we're talking about gigabytes or terabytes per second) — and the ferrimagnetic nanoislands that store the data are capable of storage densities that are some 15 times greater than existing hard drive platters. Unfortunately the York scientists only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it."

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write only media FTW! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966415)

Who needs to read data back anyway?

Re:write only media FTW! (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966673)

But that means we have to use Perl!

Re:write only media FTW! (4, Funny)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966819)

Absolutely true! I store all customer user-accounts in /dev/null to save diskspace (the compression of that device is awesome!)...so far nobody complained.

Re:write only media FTW! (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967345)

Let me guess... you set up customer complaints to get filed in /dev/null too?

Re:write only media FTW! (4, Funny)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967977)

No, but you have to login to file a complaint.

Cryogenic data storage (3, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967357)

This is the data equivalent of freezing Walt Disney and assuming that someday we'll figure out how to thaw and revive him. Write now, read someday.

Re:Cryogenic data storage (3, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968123)

His first words after being thawed out would be "is 'Stramboat Mickey' still under copyright?"

Re:write only media FTW! (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967173)

psshhht if you don't need to read it back my /dev/null tech can beat the pants off your laser nanoisland tech any day.

That is highly secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967215)

Don''t have to worry about anyone reading your data.

Re:write only media FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967301)

That was invented [wikipedia.org] back in the 1970s...

Re:write only media FTW! (1)

idontusenumbers (1367883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967555)

Just leave it to future generations to solve the problem of reading archived data. It's like climate change.

Re:write only media FTW! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967715)

In large disk subsystems used for archival, the assumption is generally that >90% of the data is never read back. That's why they're heavily write-optimized.
Now if we could determine which data isn't needed any more, we could store it on /dev/null.

Re:write only media FTW! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968029)

This sounds like Write-Only-Memory or "WOM", which was developed by Signetics back in the early 70's. Datasheet is here: http://www.national.com/rap/files/datasheet.pdf.

How is this new technology?

WORM vs WORN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968099)

WORM - Write Once Read Many
WORN - Write Once Read Never

So how do they know if they actually wrote it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966417)

If they can't read it, how do they know if they actually wrote it? Or maybe reading it is 10,000 times slower than current read technology.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966677)

It's stored in the same way as a normal hard disk - in ferromagnetic domains on a platter. You can still read it back using the same techniques as current drives (i.e. put a coil over it and see which way the induced current flows), but you then have a drive that you can write to orders of magnitude than you can read from it. I can think of a few places where this might be useful. The most obvious is the underlying storage for something like ZFS. For reliability, you want to flush everything to the backing store as quickly as possible, and with copy-on-write and snapshotting you may never erase it, but most of your reads are satisfied from flash or DRAM caches. A drive using this technology would let you dump data there as quickly as you wanted and would let you read it back for data recovery if you needed to, while in normal operation you wouldn't care about the read speed because reading from the disk is comparatively rare. It would also be useful for a number of scientific applications. I did some work a few years ago with someone building a solar observatory. A single one of their cameras generated 10GB/s of data, and they had 8 cameras in a typical setup. They run these for the entire time that the sun is visible. A single drive that can handle a sustained write speed of 1GB/s would be very useful for them (although they'd fill up several per hour...).

For consumer devices, random read speed is still the most important factor, and mechanical drives suck at that.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966961)

"but you then have a drive that you can write to orders of magnitude than you can read from it"

Nice problem to have.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (3, Insightful)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966963)

I would think that you would still have to read the location of the cluster before writing to it. Sure you can flip magnetic particles N > S or S > N at bazillions per second speed but if you don't know what you're flipping that's not good.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967439)

I don't think that when storing such absurd amounts of data as high speed, you're interested in possible fragmentation.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (4, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967637)

It's time to dust off the old concept of hard sectored discs ;) Realistically, of course, it's a bit more complex than that.

First of all, modern hard drives have a servo track that's used to maintain radial position of the head servo. Instead of each hard drive having a very accurate (and expensive) radial and axial head position sensor, you pay for it once, install it in the factory, use it to accurately guide a hard drive to write the servo track. Its cost is amortized over thousands of drives made. This is probably the reason for a covered up radial slot in many hard drive enclosures: I guess it's used for the sensor to couple with the head system while the drive writes the servo track. Or perhaps the servo platter is prewritten outside the disc? Someone familiar with how it's made please chip in!

The servo track can be also used to provide angular position feedback. A rough estimate of angular position of the spindle is available first from the Hall sensors in the spindle motor. A somewhat more accurate estimate can be had from back-EMF from the spindle motor windings. This still is methinks a couple orders of magnitude away from what's needed to pack sectors tightly on the drive -- thus the feedback can come from the servo track. Not having to read the data tracks helps with packing the sectors: there's no read-write switchover overhead (if it were significant -- perhaps it isn't nowadays). The servo head is always reading, and the data heads can be kept in write/erase standby. It'd be nondestructive, but read amplifiers are disconnected to prevent saturating them -- amplifier overload recovery is slow. Heck, if you want an amp that recovers from overloads quickly, you have to split it into more stages, and you need fast clamps between each stage. There are other similar approaches to this problem, too, and perhaps modern read amps are designed to deal with overloads gracefully -- I never tested a recent one. Stuff from a decade ago was painfully slow on overloads (tried to reuse a head amp from a hard drive for a non-drive-related project).

Alas, this ultra-fast-writing drive would unfortunately need very accurate position sensors -- both angular and radial. It's an engineering issue to make those affordable, as is the design of the optochip with femtosecond laser and its driver and serializer. The latter would probably take a couple serial lanes and multiplex them -- I presume it's not all that easy to push 10gbit/s data between external chips and the laser driver/laser combo. I think that to make it all practical you need an on-chip serializer, write precompensation, driver, and the diode. Perhaps the diode would be "tacked on" later to a substrate that has everything else. I only imagine that bond wire parasitics, even over a couple mm, become kinda important when the laser waveform has a 100GHz bandwidth...

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966973)

Which makes me often wonder how people get the motivation to research this kind of stuff. I mean, yes puzzles are often fun in and of themself, but if it were me personally, I'd feel kinda soul-crushed to finalize this tech only to see SSDs and technologies like racetrack memory win in the end. Also, they're presumably being *paid* to research this as well.

It's not too abstruse to see that solid-state devices are the natural way forward.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (3, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967107)

Why? If they can write TB/s and store data at 15X of current capacity, and SSDs can't, why move to SSDs?

The read problem is easily resolved by having multiple read heads that can read independently.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967563)

Why? If they can write TB/s

Except that youre still limited by rotational latency and whatnot. Was the magnetic write head ever the main bottleneck?

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967579)

I don't care which way becomes the "best" choice as long as both styles interface through a standardized connector.
Both sides of chip vs platter will always have their own strengths and weaknesses, I like choice.

It's very easy to see this becoming the highest cost and highest performance drive of the near future that server admins and performance enthusiasts go to. While the SSD takes over as the PC and small device storage of choice.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (2)

sheepe2004 (1029824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967445)

Because the actual research that has been done is fundamental physics. For better or worse news articles always talk up the applications rather than the science.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967033)

Harddrives haven't used coils for a long time. Nowdays they use the GMR effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_magnetoresistance [wikipedia.org] and in principle the CMR effect could give another few orders of magnitude more sensitivity. That only solves the size problem, it doesn't do much for the speed problem.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

causeur (1417885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967057)

Sounds like a good fit for updating a warehouse database. Our loads are supposed to occur at night but with increased volumes they often spill over well into daytime.

Readback can be easier (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967319)

This solves a major problem with mag recording. Readback head have always been way smaller than write head. You can read back with just a tiny permalloy head but to write you need large currents and loops of wire. So miniaturization has been limited by the write head size not the read head. This solves the write-head size problem but may have created a new read head problem. But that's very promising.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967411)

"A single one of their cameras generated 10GB/s of data, and they had 8 cameras in a typical setup. They run these for the entire time that the sun is visible. A single drive that can handle a sustained write speed of 1GB/s would be very useful for them (although they'd fill up several per hour...). "

10GB/s is 36 Terabytes per hour. That's a 3TB disk every 5 minutes... That must be some specialized hardware to multiplex 10GB/s stream to multiple storage devices. A regular PC couldn't handle that, even with the best RAID controller you can find. You're lucky to find a system that can sustain 10GB/s writing to and 10GB/s reading from (non-cache) memory for buffering...

If that's a high-framerate camera, at, say 100fps, then that's still 100MB per frame. I haven't heard of a 100Mpixel ccd yet, nor a 66Mpixel (if its 12 bits per pixel)...

Unless a 'camera' for that system actually consists of multiple CCD's with independent output streams, I think some of your numbers might be off by perhaps an order of magnitude or more. Otherwise, it sounds like a system where you could save some serious dough with a lossless codec...

No you can't (2)

cnaumann (466328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967449)

This uses ferrimagnetic domains, not ferromagnetic domains. There is no external magnetic field, and you can't use a coil to read them.

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967499)

Well I could see it useful in more then just a few places. The basic rule of Computer Science is the 80/20 rule. 80% of the Use is on 20% of the data. For the most part we Store far more then we read back. Sounds wasteful? Well it is in a way however not collecting the data will mean 20% of the time you may need to access the other 80% of the data. So it may still be needed, and the 20% of popular data can change over time.
 

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967569)

"put a coil over it and see which way the induced current flows"

LOL, that hasn't been done for decades....

Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967759)

You don't know if you actually wrote successfully on today's disk drives either.

Hello (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966419)

I am Templeton Beckmarsh (aka Flampton Hoppings) and I approve of this this story.

At last! (5, Funny)

undulato (2146486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966425)

A future-proof storage medium.

Re:At last! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966917)

Noticias de Futbol [blogspot.com] Android Blog Forum [blogspot.com] Apple iPhone iPad iPod iMac [blogspot.com] Como diminuir a barriga [comodiminuirabarriga.com] Noticias de Coches [blogspot.com] Social Media Bloger [blogspot.com] Iphone Blog News [blogspot.com] Smartphones y Moviles [blogspot.com] Técnicas de relaxamento [tecnicasde...amento.com] Tablets and Technology [tabletis.com] FunnyPicPictures [blogspot.com] Tecnologia y Gadgets [blogspot.com] Sport Media News [blogspot.com] Social Media Noticias [blogspot.com] Dietas y Alimentos [blogspot.com] Noticias de Motos [blogspot.com] Ipad News [blogspot.com] Noticias de Futbol [golhd.com] TV online [facetele.com] Funny Gifs [gifmash.com] Apple Social Network [sociapple.com]

Re:At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967481)

Are they really future-proof if they've still got rapidly moving parts, or will they just wear out and break as usual?

omg (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966435)

frickin hard drives with laser beams!

Re:omg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966701)

...attached to their heads.

Re:omg (5, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966927)

1) Western Digital licenses this technology.

2) WD releases a new model, the WD Shark. A "Now with LASERs!" starburst graphic adorns the front of the box.

3) Profit!

Re:omg (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966985)

inside.. joke... overload.....

Re:omg (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966969)

You mean like, I don't know.....cd roms as hard drives? or DVD's? or Laserdisc?

Re:omg (1)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967111)

No, the data is not stored in a magnetic domain on an optical disk.

Re:omg (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967123)

why go so far? magneto opticals work too

Memory Hole (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966443)

Just got wider.

Re:Memory Hole (3, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967655)

Goatse Drive technology?

finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966465)

A harddrive with a frikkin laser attached to its head

Re:finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967101)

Do0d!!1!

A harddrive with frikkin LASERS attached to its HEAD!!

Write speeds, I guess they should read ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966483)

I would certainly guess that the technology would allow for reading, if not at top speed, but at least significantly faster read times than the current technology. If it can write, stands to reason that the laser can read... do we not already have reading lasers in use in various technologies?

Re:Write speeds, I guess they should read ... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966583)

Lasers are currently used in reading optical media like CDs and DVDs... this is magnetic media

Re:Write speeds, I guess they should read ... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966693)

But how would you write the data with lasers? Current optical drives use a mechanical tracking system. Perhaps some form of piezoelectric oscillating mirror would be preferred?

Re:Write speeds, I guess they should read ... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967381)

In the case of magnetic media, lasers write by literally burning sections of the disc and read by reading the reflections from burnt/unburnt sections to get bits (commercially pressed discs have bumps instead of burned sections, but are read in much the same manner). From what I recall, CD burners are separate lasers for burning and reading. Optical media just happens to use lasers for both reading and writing, but they're two different lasers (assuming I remember correctly).

I'm guessing here, but I'm assuming for magnetic media, the energy from the laser targets the magnetic bit and causes it to flip in a similar manner to how CDs are burnt, but because its magnetic, lasers can't also be used to read it so you'd need a traditional magnetic head.

Re:Write speeds, I guess they should read ... (2)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967931)

And bear in mind that it's a ferrimagnet, not a ferromagnet. The net magnetisation of that lump is likely to be quite small compared to a similarly-sized ferromagnetic material.

i can beat that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966499)

At one time I had designed a backup storage system that could handle backing up PBs of data in only a few seconds -- and it's capacity was endless, and it was free for anyone to use.

Restore? You want to restore? Let me introduce you to my price list. :-)

Yay! if they figure out 2 read da stuff, we'r gold (0)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966513)

writing the cute useless powerpoint presentations that waste so much everyone's time will be done 1000 times faster, so will downloading swimsuit pictures (minus the swimsuit for some :) )

awesome, we're gonna be able to waste time so much faster haha

Re:Yay! if they figure out 2 read da stuff, we'r g (1)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966687)

Those two activities are generally not limited by disk access speed.

Re:Yay! if they figure out 2 read da stuff, we'r g (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966863)

You have no idea how much pron that guy downloads. Although viewing it would still be limited by read speeds.

Implied Read? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966527)

How can scientists know the write was successful without being able to read back as well...surely there is an in implied read in the mix, otherwise the discovery isn't worth the paper it is written on!

Who cares about reading? (5, Insightful)

rjejr (921275) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966531)

Considering how often I back stuff up, but how rarely I ever use those backups, I'll gladly take 1,000 times faster backups even if it means slower read speeds than we have now. Really, I'ld take that trade-off in a heartbeat.

Promises, Promises (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966533)

If I remember correctly, several years ago they said a 500 Terabyte Drive would be comming out soon, never happend.

Oh hey! This looks fascinating! (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966537)

I think I'll - $32?! Jeezus, if I was still a student I'd be set..

Re:Oh hey! This looks fascinating! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966591)

There's something inherently wrong about this statement:

Personal Customers
Nature Communications is not available through a personal subscription. Personal customers can purchase individual articles (that are not already open access) on an article by article basis.

Now... (1)

larys (2559815) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966585)

we just need fiber optic internet connections to become standard enough so we can put all that fast reading and writing to use! ;)

Re:Now... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966683)

My current ISP still thinks I'm using MFM drives.

Re:Now... (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966967)

That's because of the type of pictures you download?

Bert

Re:Now... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967225)

Not, it's because it's a 5 megabits per second [wikipedia.org] cable modem.

You can drop your nerd card in the little box on the way out.

Re:Now... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967247)

I love ASCII art pr0n!

Re:Now... (2)

larys (2559815) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967327)

Yeah, sure...it's all fun and good until word wrap is set but the window of Notepad isn't stretched to the right width and all of a sudden some otherwise beautiful woman is wearing her own breast as a hat...

To read it, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966589)

Would one of those Blu-Ray reader lenses work? Or does it need to be smaller than that?

Re:To read it, you say? (2)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966715)

Blu-Ray is an optical medium. Hard drives are magnetic. The use of lasers in writing is unusual. They use the lasers to flip magnetic bits. The lasers can't simply be shined onto a bit and then have light deflected in one of two directions depending on the data stored.

Re:To read it, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966855)

And a miniature magnetometer wouldn't work either?

No Encryption required! (1)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966611)

No way to read these things? Wow, Who needs encryption now... (Ok.. Ok.. Just write your data to /dev/null...)

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966631)

How do they know that they wrote it if they can't read it?

Good news everyone! (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966633)

If they can read it at least as fast as today's technologies, the power required to read/write data is roughly the same as today's drives and the manufacturing cost is also about the same, this is good news for everyone:

1. On the consumer side, cheaper drives per terabyte meaning cheaper home media servers
2. On the commercial side, a lot less energy required, i.e. no need for ultra-fast 15k RPM drives in servers, need up to 15 times fewer drives in server farms. This is BIG.

There is only one problem [xkcd.com] .

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966773)

"2. On the commercial side, a lot less energy required, i.e. no need for ultra-fast 15k RPM drives in servers, need up to 15 times fewer drives in server farms. This is BIG."
Probably not. Spindles == speed and redundancy. If you are looking at a data warehousing situation then maybe but if you are dealing with a lot of transactions you will still want as many spindles as you can afford.

Re:Good news everyone! (2)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967949)

We have 15k RPM drives because we need to move the sector to which we want to read/write at quicker to the actuator head. The slowest point isn't the transfer of data from head to platter, but a) moving the actuator arm and b) waiting for the correct sector to come around.

I'm not sure how much performance benefit using lasers could help since access time (moving the mechanical arm) is still on the order of ms.

um... (1)

Killerfishmonkey (1943236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966681)

If they can't read it.. how do they know they have written data?..

Pay wall (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966691)

If it's paywalled, it didn't happen!

Amphibious storage (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966705)

As an added bonus the factory can continue to operate even if it's flooded [//to do: insert conspiracy theory here] as the lasers can then be attached to sharks.

This sounds like Perl (1)

fredan (54788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966723)

Write Once Read None.

Re:This sounds like Perl (1)

MrMacman2u (831102) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966803)

You mean like old 3.5" floppy disks!

Mindisc (1)

Danoz (627412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966791)

Isn't this similar to/an extension of how minidisc worked? So couldn't the reading be done in a similar matter then?

Congratulations! (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966811)

They've just re-invented the Magneto-optical drive! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Congratulations! (2)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967089)

For writing, magneto-optical drives only used the laser to heat up a bit to a point where it could be flipped. The actual magnetic drive head flipped the heated bit, not the laser. This post says they can now use the laser to flip a bit, and that's a big difference.

Write without reading? (3, Interesting)

Synon (847155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966895)

"Unfortunately the York scientists only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it." A bit of a paradox don't you think? How did they know it was written without being able to read it?

No way to read it? (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966915)

Pfffffft. You silly scientists... it's lasers all the way down!

Should read it faster than writing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38966935)

Using polarized reflection - the reading beam is unpolarized, a reflected polarized light would be rotated under the influence of the magnetic recording, thus allowing high speed read read.

Might still require a much higher speed rotation though.

No man... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967075)

No man is a nano-island!

WORN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967151)

Next to WORM we now also have WORN (Write Once Read Never) memory. Progress!

My head is spinning (1)

causeur (1417885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967191)

or the platter is spinning 1000 times faster to achieve this throughput?

60fs pulse, but what is the rep rate (1)

Lluc (703772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967377)

Newport has an ultrafast 400 fs laser with a claimed high repetition rate (http://www.newport.com/Spirit#tab_Specifications), but the rep rate is only 1 MHz. Who cares if you set a bit in 60 fs but then your laser can only write 1Mb/sec to disk. What's that, the speed of a Zip Disk?

Write performance still improved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967443)

Unfortunately the York scientists only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it.

Well, that's not necessarily a problem. You could easily have a drive where the write is done by a laser while reading still uses the conventional magnetic head.

A lot of applications such as databases are still bound by the speed they write to the drive (where the write cache is fairly small so when doing a large write it slows to a crawl after the initial Mb has been written), while reading is already much faster because the OS can use any spare RAM as a cache which can be several Gb. This increases the write speed to the platter by an order of magnitude which could have a huge impact on those write times.

(As an alumini of the University of York I find this rather exciting news).

Hmm (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967503)

only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it.

Sounds like Windows' strategy: Crap the write to wherever on disk, and don't care about performance in reading it back. Why bother when read-time performance, when the user can defrag every day?

RDX devices (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967531)

Backup "tapes" currently grind along at 10,000 RPM or so, depending on the device. Their primary purpose is to write data; you hope you never have to read from it. The thought of writing backups at 150K RPM - finishing what is currently a three hour backup in about fifteen minutes - that would be spectacular. Sure, the data restore would still take 3+ hours - but again, you cross your fingers and hope you never have to do that restore anyway.

Write only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967711)

Hey, we have had files that were read-only for a very long time! Now we'll have files that are write-only. Brilliant!

This is an old invention (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38967833)

They have re-invented the write-only memory or WOM! Back in grad school some friends and I developed a spec sheet for the wood-insulated gate write-only memory or WIGWOM. Another billion dollar idea that went nowhere.

Write Speed Limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38967943)

Maybe someone could explain this, but it appears that this method will always flip the bit from its current position. This would imply you need to know the current state of a bit in order to know if you needed to flip it, so wouldn't you have to read each bit before you could write any data with this method?

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