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Diamonds Used To Increase Density, Performance of Phase-Change Memory

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ok-start-counting-down-to-5-years dept.

Data Storage 115

Lucas123 writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have shown they can increase the density, performance and the durability of phase-change memory (PSM) by using diamonds to change the base alloy material. Instead of using the more typical method of applying heat to the alloy to change its state from amorphous to crystalline, thereby laying down bits in the material, the researchers used pressure from diamond-tipped tools. Using pressure versus heat allowed them to slow down the change in order to produce many varying states allowing more data to be stored on the alloy. 'This phase-change memory is more stable than the material used in current flash drives. It works 100 times faster and is rewritable millions of times,' said the study's lead author, Ming Xu, a doctoral student at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. 'Within about five years, it could also be used to replace hard drives in computers and give them more memory.'"

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Yeah, it's true. (-1, Offtopic)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904725)

It's 100% true. I use Gamemaker, and I'm proud of it! In fact, everyone who doesn't is simply a disgrace. All True Programmers use Gamemaker.

Return, return, return, return, return to Gamemakerdooooooooooooom!

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1, Offtopic)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904749)

It cannot be said that your words are false. Unfortunately, this is among the greatest of inconvenient truths for some closed-minded imbeciles.

I'll return to Gamemakerdom right this minuteness.

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1, Offtopic)

hewpew (2632707) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904847)

I agree, gamemaker is great. Just imagine a world without gamemaker. A world without it would be just like the dark ages. Everyone, return to gamemakerdom today!

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1, Offtopic)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905005)

WTF? Is this supposed to be funny, or are you and your two buddies just shills for Gamemaker?

Re:Yeah, it's true. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905029)

I vote for the latter. Slashdot is HOME of the shills!

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1, Troll)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905041)

Neither of those. The truth is that Gamemaker reigns supreme over everything else. Gamemaker has no flaws, and it is a perfect language.

That's why you, a mere Gamemakerless ultimatum, must return to Gamemakerdom. How can you claim to be a programmer if you're not using Gamemaker? That's laughable at best, and intentionally deceptive at worst.

Re: Windows Phone 7 is AWESOME (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905281)

AND IT RUNS GAMEMAKER TOO. BUY WINDOWS PHONE 7 FROM MICROSOFT (TM) TODAY !!! NOKIA WINDOWS 7 PHONES ARE SELLING OUT !!!!! BUY NOW WHILE STOCKS LAST !!!!
How can you claim to be a programmer if you're not using WINDOWS PHONE 7 ? That's laughable at best, and intentionally deceptive at worst.

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905507)

From their site: "Do you want to develop computer games without spending countless hours learning how to become a programmer?"

So... about that whole "you're a joke if you claim to be a programmer but don't use your product" fallacy.

Totally not crescent fresh, bro.

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1, Offtopic)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905545)

Why you little wusaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

True Programmers use Gamemaker. You're nothin' if you say otherwise. Use Gamemaker. Only use Gamemaker. You're a Gamemakerless ultimatum!

Re:Yeah, it's true. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906015)

you still use gamemaker?.. I hear it's a piece of shit.. and that it fucked your disgusting mother... and so any real developer is afraid to touch it.

Re:shitstorm (-1, Offtopic)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905401)

I read /. uncensored for the trolls and such. Usually there's some larfs
Perhaps, not today.

Re:shitstorm (1)

deadzaphod (699097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908759)

I read /. uncensored for the trolls and such. Usually there's some larfs Perhaps, not today.

Same here. This may be the lamest troll thread I've ever seen on /.

Boring (5, Insightful)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904763)

Seriously. Who didn't already suspect diamonds would increase the performance of phase change memory?

Re:Boring not tunneling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905039)

And who would ever have suspected that phase change memory required longevity that is orders of magnitude beyond the rest of the components what will allow it to be affordable?

Re:Boring not tunneling (4, Insightful)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905129)

That does seem to render the breakthrough without virtue, at least from an economic standpoint at this time. Seriously though, history is replete with innovation that cannot stand on its own initially that later becomes indispensable. Like sticky notes.

Re:Boring not tunneling (4, Interesting)

GaratNW (978516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905549)

You understand that lab made diamonds are chemically identical, and have identical properties, to mined diamonds? And are orders of magnitude cheaper to create. Does that instantly make this viable? No. Does it mean that the fact that diamonds, which are themselves kept artificially priced high by cartels such as De Beers, will be the most cost prohibitive part of improving longevity and speed, and reducing cost in PCM? Seems unlikely to me. But who knows. Don't get caught up on the fact that it's diamond though.

Re:Boring not tunneling (2)

NalosLayor (958307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906037)

Lab made diamonds are cheaper to create than gem grade consumer diamonds. I'm no expert, but I thought that industrial grade diamond (e.g. tiny ones, which this would DEFINITELY USE) was really cheap by virtue of being pretty abundant.

Re:Boring not tunneling (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906105)

Gem grade consumer diamonds can be created in the lab as well. Up to 25 carats has been done, if memory serves me. There are tell tale signs usually, although I won't call them differences. Those diamonds still are diamonds, but tend to fluoresce in ways that mined diamonds would only do when they are a specific color variation like blue diamonds. Also, the labs are playing ball with the mining cartels and making sure that they inscribe serial numbers on their stones, so you know it was lab created.

Long story short, if there was a need to suddenly have to produce a lot of gem quality diamonds to save the Earth or something, you wouldn't have to rely on DeBeers to mine them for you. They wouldn't necessarily be cheap, but they would be a hell of a lot less expensive than current diamond prices.

Re:Boring not tunneling (3, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906375)

Manmade diamonds also do not have inclusions (bits of sand, or other impurities that get embedded in the crystal).

Re:Boring not tunneling (1)

vyvepe (809573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907479)

DeBears made 34.8 carat synthetic diamond for research purposes. Its volume should be about 2 cm^3.

Re:Boring not tunneling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907693)

Industrial grade diamond is pretty common. You find it in diamond saws, knife sharpeners, some sandpapers (usually aluminum oxides are used here though), and even jewelry! Yes, depending on how the market is going, you can find some pretty crappy diamonds in jewelry. Moissanite can be substituted for diamond in the case where it is used to focus lasers and such, but for pressure experiments (like diamond anvils) there is no substitute.

Re:Boring not tunneling (2)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906891)

Lab created diamonds (at least small ones) are not that expensive. If you need an example check for diamond (dust, but still) covered blades (for stone cutting) in your local hardware store. Artificial diamonds are used in thousands of machines for very different tasks already. So that wont be a big deal

Re:Boring (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906731)

"Five years", eh...?

I'd better start planning my migration then. Not.

All Chinese authors (2)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904841)

I noticed that all the authors are Chinese. You would almost get the impression that research (in hard sciences) in the USA has been taken over by Chinese.

Re:All Chinese authors (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904851)

Well, when you've got a billion and a third people, a history of oppressing intellectuals, and a (relatively) immigration-friendly neighbor, these things happen.

Re:All Chinese authors (4, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904909)

US is not immigration friendly, not even relatively:
http://usvisa-info.com/en-MX/selfservice/us_immigrant_visas [usvisa-info.com]

Most Chinese students are actually on student visas. They usually get a 1yr extension for work, and from there they go to H1B if hired somewhere, and Green Card if they really want to stay, but that costs a lot to a company so it must be really worth it.
The question is, do most of the Chinese students stay in the US? or do they go back to China and work there?
If this means something: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/mar/28/china-us-publisher-scientific-papers [guardian.co.uk] , I don't think most are staying.

Re:All Chinese authors (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904941)

Why would you want to stay in a country that is fairly hostile to the way you look, has a very different culture and set of basic values and generally tends to villify your culture and homeland?

US used to be a place where migrants could actually feel welcome but those times are firmly in the past.

You watch too much Fox News (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906291)

The white non-Catholic population are primarily contained in the Bible Belt. Everywhere else people generally don't care the way you look. Many of them are friendly and adopting to the Chinese culture too. I am not talking about your local chop suey place but things like the idea of Zen, the rising popularity of acupuncture and herbal medicine etc. is a sign of the times.

Re:All Chinese authors (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907023)

It having a different culture doesn't matter, the chinese simply make a new little china in each major city around the globe.

Re:All Chinese authors (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905385)

The U.S. population is about 13% foreign-born, which is pretty high. Lower than Canada (19%), but higher than most other countries. For example, only 9% of the UK population is foreign-born, 4% of the Italian population, 2% of the Japanese population, and... 0.3% of the Chinese population.

It's not necessarily actually easy to get into the U.S., but overall, a lot of people do so anyway. And unlike many other countries, the U.S. has automatic citizenship from birth, which means any offspring of the foreign-born population (a full 1/8 of the country!) are automatically citizens, which is a much friendlier path to citizenship than most countries have.

Re:All Chinese authors (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906377)

There's also the fact that the the US is not the most desirable place in the world right now. It's better than South America, Africa and most of Asia (including China,) but the current economic conditions makes it difficult to predict the next 3 years. Canada is easier to get into than the US, but it's a huge pain in the ass to play the waiting game, Canada or US.

If the US elects a republican, then prepare to see more regressive tax policies and further erosion of social safety nets. If the US re-elects Obama, we may see more inaction from Congress.

Re:All Chinese authors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39909119)

And unlike many other countries, the U.S. has automatic citizenship from birth, which means any offspring of the foreign-born population (a full 1/8 of the country!) are automatically citizens, which is a much friendlier path to citizenship than most countries have.

Well, for your kids. If you made the mistake of already being born in some other country, it's not that friendly for you...

Re:All Chinese authors (-1, Offtopic)

spatterson (1879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904911)

Way off topic but I have to say... you have the dumbest signature I've ever seen "Friendly Reminder: Apple, Google, Nintendo and Valve are the for-profit corporations a Slashdotter is permitted to like." I guess we can't like RedHat? Or github? MongoHQ? Sourceforge? Geeknet? Need I go on?

Re:All Chinese authors (2)

chrisxcr1 (1210984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905093)

1,000,000,000.33 people

Re:All Chinese authors (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905459)

I sure am glad not to be a third of a person.

Re:All Chinese authors (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905579)

Dwarfism is an unpleasant condition indeed.

Re:All Chinese authors (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906897)

Looks like not all men are created equal...

Re:All Chinese authors (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907801)

Suddenly... I'm not half the man I used to be.

Re:All Chinese authors (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39904901)

Discounting the fact that simply because the researchers are not named "John" and "Sally" they must not be American... Contemporary American society does not value education in general and have no respect for science, engineering and R&D. Accordingly we are producing less scientists and engineers. We are investing less into long term R&D on both the public and private sector which further depresses the draw of talent into the fields.

So, I would expect this trend to continue until businesses can stop looking at the next quarter and start looking 10-20+ years down the road. The federal government on the other hand needs to realize that funding blue sky research brings us things like the Internet and we could use more of that too...

In closing we are pretty much hosed as long as we value reality tv, athletics and wealth more than discovery, knowledge and the common good.

Good luck!
- anon

Re:All Chinese authors (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906265)

there are not enough white (not Caucasian, these are not equivalent terms) people who wants to be scientist and such, and those who do study in the scientific field are tend to be minorities and generally regarded as non-patriotic because of their race even though most of them are natural-born U.S. citizens.

Especially when there are too many white people and not enough non-English speaking minorities in the U.S. defense industry where most of the R&D $$$ ends up in.

Re:All Chinese authors (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904957)

Nope, they just steal it.

Neal Stephenson hits another one (3, Interesting)

notcreative (623238) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904843)

The Diamond Age begins.

Re:Neal Stephenson hits another one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906697)

The Diamond Age in the title of Stephenson's book means that diamond has become a common building material, used whenever you need something durable or transparent. In the book it was accomplished by nanotechnology, i.e. building diamond structures at the atomic level from a supply of carbon atoms. We are nowhere near there yet - metals, plastics and composites are still much cheaper and more plentiful than industrial diamonds.

Re:Neal Stephenson hits another one (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39907855)

Damned Vickys are so tedious...

So... (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904903)

Great work, guys! Now, do you have a suggestion on how to put several trillion tiny diamond presses inside my SSD "within about five years"? [xkcd.com]

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905061)

Journey to the center of the earth, part II.

Re:So... (2)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905163)

Except the diamonds are used during the manufacturing process to lay down the bits, not during usage when changing the bit values. It's kind of hard to imagine moving the tiny presses up and down 100 times faster than current speeds...

Re:So... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906307)

Yeah I wouldn't be ready to hold my breath yet. anybody remember how many times we've been told 200Gb+ Holodiscs would be as cheap as DVDs and just as common? Still don't see any Holodiscs at the Walmart.

The big problem all these new tech seem to run into isn't actually getting these things to work, its getting it to work at a price that would be affordable. After all who would want this stuff if it ends up costing as much as a Mb of RAM cost in 1981?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906591)

After all who would want this stuff if it ends up costing as much as a Mb of RAM cost in 1981?

I bought a 16K RAM upgrade in 1984 or '85. It cost me £40. Which is about £100 in today's money. Or about ten billion US dollars for a terabyte. Start saving!

Re:So... (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906769)

It cost me $180 to add a memory chip to upgrade my first MP3 player from 96m to 125m.

Re:So... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908779)

And THAT friend was a decade after I was speaking of! In 1981 a Mb of RAM was on the order of $30,000 and that is IF you could afford to buy a machine that would actually hold it. This is why most computers at the time had RAM soldered to the board, because it simply would have cost too much to upgrade the RAM so the OEMs like Commodore and Apple never bothered with an upgrade path.

So the problem isn't developing the tech, its developing the tech at an affordable price.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906939)

You're not looking hard enough [wikipedia.org] . Blu-ray goes up to 4 layers according to that page. Only 128GB, though, I guess. Further down there's mentions of up to 16 layer Blu-ray discs in development.

diamonds are forever (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904927)

Hopefully the increased demand will cause a significant upturn in the number of diamond manufacturers lending wider spread knowledge of the true value (much lower than popularly believed) of diamonds.

Diamonds are forever, SSD is not (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905575)

Being pressure operated, what the memory stores will last until the first serious mechanical shock.

;) A pity really... I now must replace the thermite charge around my harddisks with a high velocity explosive.

Re:diamonds are forever (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905617)

Like pretty much everything else, the value of diamonds is what the market says it is. Gold, for example, is grossly overpriced considering that Osmium can be had for about a third the price, and requires the addition of only 6 atoms to transform to Gold. Given a relatively trivial breakthrough in technology the price of gold will drop 2/3rds in a day.

Re:diamonds are forever (0)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905899)

er, electrons?

Re:diamonds are forever (1)

NalosLayor (958307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906041)

Protons.

Re:diamonds are forever (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906207)

I was thinking deuterium atoms. I hadn't looked up the neutron counts, though. Stable gold is 79P 118N, Osmium is 76P, and abundant in 112N-114N. So presumably you'd take 114N, and look to add 3P, 4N, so call that 2 deuterium and 1 tritium.

Re:diamonds are forever (2)

alannon (54117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906569)

Even assuming that bulk transmutation of elements is a "trivial breakthrough", Osmium is actually much less abundant than gold (citation [wikipedia.org] ). You're right that the value is what the market says it is, but wrong in thinking that being able to turn one into the other would cause the price of gold to plummet. Osmium is simply not as _useful_ of an element compared to gold, regardless of its rarity.

Re:diamonds are forever (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908065)

A good point. I'll gladly switch to converting tungsten then, about 1000 times more common, and a factor of 10 cheaper than Osmium. Only requires adding two more atoms.

Re:diamonds are forever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39907751)

Gold is not even grossly overpriced. Consider that all the gold ever mined in the history of earth would fill only 3 olympic swimming pools, then compare that to most other metals out there. This is why gold is recycled to an anally scrutinizing degree compared to other metals. Jewelers send in their sweeps (dust off the floor under their workbenches) for gold recovery and money. I have heard a story of a jeweler sending in his RUG to a refinery and getting about 15 thousand due to the amount of gold dust that was recovered from it. Gold mining companies move TONS of rock for a few flakes of gold these days, and about jizz themselves when they find a good vein.

Re:diamonds are forever (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908029)

That actually supports my point. It's grossly overpriced based on an economic premise (rarity) which is easily falsified with a minor improvement in technology.

Replaces HDD? Again? (3, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904933)

How many times over the years have we heard that claim? Does anyone remember "bubble memory"? Is was going to replace magnetic media. Optical drives were going to replace magnetic media. SSD were going to replace magnetic media. Now diamonds? Okay. But until then, get off my lawn.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905027)

Does anyone remember "bubble memory"? Is was going to replace magnetic media. Optical drives were going to replace magnetic media. SSD were going to replace magnetic media.

One out of three isn't bad. Okay, so SSDs haven't completely replaced magnetic media, but in some contexts, they have. Nobody carries around floppies these days, and laptops are clearly heading in that direction, too.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906353)

Actually I'm personally not so sure about SSDs when you consider they seem to work on the hot/crazy scale [codinghorror.com] . Now sure they may figure out and fix the problems or they could just as easily have a real nasty bug show up like the infamous Jaz Drive "Click Of Death" and scare off the public. I know that after I had a couple of my gamer customers buy really nice SSDs and both failed in less than a year and a half I personally will be staying away from SSDs for at least another year. Sure hard drives fail but they nearly always give a warning first, these SSDs? Zip, just one day they flipped the switch and nothing, not even the BIOS/EFI would recognize them.

So if they can give me the speed of SSDs or better and the long life of HDDs? All for it, bring it on. But I think I'll let some other sucker test them first, thanks.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906741)

If the BIOS doesn't recognize them then that's a controller failure, not the flash memory.

Maybe you should stop trying to buy the absolute cheapest SSD possible, I"m pretty sure you wouldn't apply that sort of philosophy to other things in life.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39908359)

Did you miss the "Gamer customers" part? One bought top o' the line OCZ and the other Intel. Both drives were replaced but that didn't help the data none. Nice to see there are still plenty of loonies that treat tech like ballclubs and automatically assume "Ur doin it wrong" because God Forbid their God may be false. All Hail The One True God!

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906601)

Does anyone remember "bubble memory"? Is was going to replace magnetic media. Optical drives were going to replace magnetic media. SSD were going to replace magnetic media.

One out of three isn't bad. Okay, so SSDs haven't completely replaced magnetic media, but in some contexts, they have. Nobody carries around floppies these days, and laptops are clearly heading in that direction, too.

So you're saying that soon people will not carry around laptops either? :-)

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905411)

>Does anyone remember "bubble memory"? Is was going to replace magnetic media

No, it wasn't. It was going to replace transistor RAM. In some specialized cases it did but it was expensive. It had a density much greater than TTL RAM but slow, but it had the advantage of being non-volatile.

>Optical drives were going to replace magnetic media.

But they did, for much of removable magnetic media. When was the last time you installed software with floppies? When is the last time you saw someone back things up to floppies? While tape is the gold standard, it's far too expensive for joe-consumer to even consider.

>SSD were going to replace magnetic media.

They have replaced magnetic media all over. What the hell are you talking about? They are spectacular for system drives on desktop computers and netbooks.

>get off your lawn

I remember when talking to a computer meant sitting at a paper TTY and banging out on the keyboard, and stacks of cards.

Get off mine.

--
BMO

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905689)

His UID is much lower than yours. I think his lawn wins...

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905751)

I think you have him BMO; you're way more curmudgeony.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906009)

To be fair, SSD is only starting to replace magnetic media. It's still too expensive and too small for general purpose use.

Re:Replaces HDD? Again? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906073)

That's why you use it for a system drive.

You don't store movies and such on it. You have a 2TB external drive for that if you've got an ultraportable or net-top. And heck, at that point, you just buy 5200RPM "green" drives because they're cheaper.

And that way, if you don't feel like lugging around the external drive, you can leave it at home plugged into the server and stream from it over the net.

--
BMO

GST being used in rewritable optical media? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904949)

I think this is completely untrue. AFAIK the phase-change material in rewritable optical media is one of several organic dyes, which is largely why there have been issues with rewritable media shelf life and degradation. Assuming I'm right and the author of the linked CW article got that factoid wrong, what else did he get wrong? There seems to be a logical disconnect between any technique requiring pressure from "diamond-tipped tools" to manipulate PSM and promises that it's "100 times faster" and will find its way to market "within about five years". So, what, they'll have open-faced PSM material with a nanoscale diamond "punch" that can zip around and tap the material at warp speed? Isn't the included illustration that claims to show "how the diamond-tipped tools were used to compress GST" laughably ignorant?

I'm not sure the CW article that motivated this /. submission is even an accurate restatement of the actual research. This Lucas Mearian seems to have either just made shit up or completely misinterpreted the research paper.

Re:GST being used in rewritable optical media? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905001)

Actually, it is write-once optical media that uses organic dyes, whereas rewritable media (cd-rw, dvd-rw, dvd-ram, etc...) use a phase change metallic alloy. However, I agree with all of your other points about the article.

Re:GST being used in rewritable optical media? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905025)

I checked my recollection finally, and I stand corrected on that point. I'm still suspicious of the CW article, regardless.

Re:GST being used in rewritable optical media? (2)

EETech1 (1179269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906013)

You mean your recolwikipedialection? Or did you recolgooglelection it to find a real source:)?

Cheers

Re:GST being used in rewritable optical media? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906275)

No, recolgooglescholarlection. I have it installed as a search engine in Firefox. :-)

Question (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39904955)

How does it compete with IBM's racetrack memory for speed and durability?

5 years? (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905033)

Why is it always 5 years, when 20 are realistic and "never" is also a quite real option?

Re:5 years? (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905623)

It's five years because that creates a sense of urgency for angel investors to get in on the ground floor.

Timeline translation (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905055)

"Within five years..." - maybe sometime within my life time

"In ten years..." - it's theoretically not unpossible.

Not to degrade research works, but let's get realistic about estimates, eh? You're scientists, you know, not Wall St. hustlers.

Re:Timeline translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906129)

You need to get money for your research somehow, and promising a highly desirable, marketable product in the near future is a good way to do it.

more memory (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905123)

'Within about five years, it could also be used to replace hard drives in computers and give them more memory.'

Oh great, now my backups will take even longer. I hope network speeds get better by then.

Re:more memory (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906607)

That's what incremental backups are for.

My balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905127)

My balls will be made available to market in 5 years as well. Complete with diamond tipped pubes.

Re:My balls (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906617)

My balls will be made available to market in 5 years as well. Complete with diamond tipped pubes.

Liar. Everyone knows that cowards have no balls. That includes anonymous ones.

I'll definitly buy that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905199)

It must be really cheap to manufacture. Should go well with my diamond cpu/gpu.

Funded by DeBeers (2)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905233)

This study brought to you by the DeBeers cartel... Where we artificially inflate the value of a diamond to $5000, when based on supply and demand, it would be worth about $85... Monopolies, or oligopolies in the form of cartels are not so good for consumers... I want to form a toilet paper cartel...

Re:Funded by DeBeers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905299)

lab diamonds

Re:Funded by DeBeers (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906191)

DeBeers hasn't been as strong in a while, ever since Russian diamonds entered the market, and didn't want to play by cartel rules.

Great.... (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905285)

So now I'll have "blood" hard drives whose innards come from a lump of carbon, mined by wage slaves in Angola? Like I need more guilt.


Plus one geek cred to anyone who knows the quote sans marks :D

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905685)

actually artificial diamonds are much cheaper and equally good as "blood diamonds" or natural diamonds you have in rings, only issue with artificial ones is size (they are small compared to natural ones) you can get diamond cutter for glass very cheaply these days (around $20) and that thing has several (very small) artificial diamonds so i do not think this "diamond memory" would be expensive because of those diamonds i expect R&D costs and silicon wafers (if needed) to still be more expensive part

Re:Great.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906051)

Guilt... You want to talk about guilt...

My Ex is Jewish and went to Catholic School. You got nothing on her.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905395)

Look at your memory. It is old, and slow, and ugly. Now look at my memory. It is new, and fast, and shiny. Look back at yours, and back to mine, and back to yours. Sadly it isn't mine, but you can buy mine sometime far in the future. Look at mine again: it is now diamonds. Anything is possible...

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39906025)

I'm on a horse

We need more porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905761)

It is time to ramp up porn production so that in five years there be enough to fill our new diamond hard drives.

Diamonds are a misdirection: this isn't about them (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39905907)

This is a fairly standard alloy for PC memory. These are common in next gen memory--look up ovonyx, or current Samsung NOR for a similar technology. And to be fair, most people in the memory industry do think that some sort of FeRAM or ReRAM or PCRAM will be important in 5 years, as a different leg in the memory heirarchy.

In any case, the point of this research was to use diamonds to take a look at the pressure/temperature phase diagram of the alloy. There is no intent or interest in making the material with diamond. Instead, knowing that you can get performance by going to another phase (which isn't simply accessable with tuning temperatures), you can
1) Change out the layer you are growing on
2) Add a stressor layer (Si3N4 is common) and temperature cycle.
3) Do some sort of tricky flash anneal to recrystalize
4) Add a quaternary alloy to improve the phase space.

In short, there will never be diamond involved, unless there is a C stress layer (unlikely).

This is all pretty standard stuff. THe diamond portion is a side note--that is how they applied test pressures. Practical devices may come out of this based on alterations of other sorts

Diamonds (2)

revelation60 (2036940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39906641)

A nerd's best friend.
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