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Nanomaterial May Be Future of Hard Drives

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the future-is-now dept.

Technology 82

sciencehabit writes "Most magnets shrug off tiny temperature tweaks. But now physicists have created a new nanomaterial--an ultrathin 10-nanometer layer of nickel grafted onto a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of a substance called vanadium oxide--that dramatically changes how easily it flips its magnetic orientation when heated or cooled only slightly. The effect, never before seen in any material, could eventually lead to new types of computer memory."

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82 comments

how high were they when they wrote this? (-1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46447581)

Yeeeah, what we need in computing is memory that changes when the temperature changes slightly. You know, because computers never get hot. What a big improvement over what we use now.

Re:how high were they when they wrote this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447847)

"[Vanadium oxide] dramatically changes *how easily it flips* its magnetic orientation when heated or cooled only slightly"

Reading comprehension for the win.

Re:how high were they when they wrote this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449227)

Most magnets shrug off tiny temperature tweaks. But now physicists have created a new nanomaterial--an ultrathin 10-nanometer layer of nickel grafted onto a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of a substance called vanadium oxide--that dramatically changes how easily it flips its magnetic orientation when heated or cooled only slightly.

Implying that the flipping is uncontrolled. Or put another way... context for the win.

Re:how high were they when they wrote this? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#46447877)

Yea it is not like our computer is filled with a bunch of tiny little things that are rated in nano-meters. It is not like engineers worry about how heat affects particular devices.

The idea of overclocking your PC to get faster speed is quite true. That said, it heats up your CPU more so if you don't find a way to regulate the heat you get more problems. For some reason those engineers who made those chips created them to run within a particular temperature variance.

Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447583)

Mechanical memory is destined for the trash heap of history. All storage will be electronic. Witness how quickly SSD are replacing conventional hard drives.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447661)

All storage will be in the Cloud and will be technology agnostic. At some point we will get to molecular storage.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#46447733)

not in the sever room and they still have tape as well there.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46452399)

Yes they are going away.

Enterprise SSD's are here [anandtech.com] . Just a few years ago yes a mechanical disk was faster than an SSD for sequential writes and reads for most work and hell of a lot more reliable than an ssd. But that is not true anymore. Newer drives have 5 year warranties and up to 80 gig endurance a day for 5 years now!

Performance wise the newer Sans disk and Samsungs get up to +500 megs a second per drive! FYI a 4 raid with mechanical drives gets just 120 megs a second. A raid +5 can reach close to 2 TB a dang second. Plus vastly superior IOS. The new SSDs have raid inside the disks internally which is how they are getting faster and faster with each revision between the ram chips.

So it makes no sense to invest in mechanical disks. It is like saying inventing better vacuum tubes or punch card reading technology.

Yes a few slashdotters who have not switched to SSD yet modded you insightful but I see it dying in the decade as OEM's start using it.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46452485)

It's a post pc world, you luddie clod! I can't put a SSD in my tablet!

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 months ago | (#46452671)

Throwing a flag, bullshit on the field. You see Billy there is a teeny tiny itty bitty problem with SSD that none of the companies will talk about...they shit themselves WITHOUT WARNING.

Now can a HDD shit itself without warning? Yes but frankly since the coming of SMART its pretty damned rare, instead you get what I had last week, with SMART screaming on boot and a sector scan showing sectors failing. Final result? I was able to get more than 95% of the user's data off the failing drive, with the only thing being lost that which was actually on the failed sectors themselves.

Let us compare that to an SSD failure, shall we? Oh look, all your shit is gone, NO WARNING and no chance in hell of saving anything...wow, sucks to be you huh? I'm sure you'll talk about "cloud backups" or some such bullshit, yeah with the data caps? Hope daddy gave you a trust fund because that shit isn't gonna work on your average residential line in the USA, and in a perfect world people would have backups...and I would have a billion dollars and be woken up every morning by my Alyson Hannigan sexbot who blows me while I eat steak in bed...ain't no perfect world Billy.

So until the SSD OEMs can create an SSD that gives you an "Oh shit I'm gonna die soon" warning all it takes is one person they know getting an SSD shit itself scenario before it turns off everybody they know. BTW if you can show me where I can get a 1Tb SSD for $60 I'd be grateful, as my customers (which are Joe and Jane average BTW) are going through data like crap through a goose, those little 64Gb and 128gb SSDs ain't gonna cut it. Have you SEEN the size of files the average camcorder puts out today? Camera? Hell we now have 41MP fricking smartphones dude, where all that data gonna go? Sure as hell ain't going to the cloud, not with TW/Comcrap merging, by the time the corp buyouts are done you'll be lucky if you get 50Gb a month and then ONLY to the shitty websites, gotta pay those dividends and bonuses ya know.

Seriously guys like you REALLY ought to have to work at a mom&pop shop at least one month every 5 years so that the corporate bullshit don't rot your brain. Sure when you have $100K+ storage budgets throwing several tens of thousands on fatty SSDs with RAID ain't no thing but that is about as fucking far from reality in the consumers space, which just FYI curbstomps corp when it comes to market size just FYI, than it is from here to Mars.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 4 months ago | (#46454309)

a) SSDs are not designed for bulk storage. They will probably never match the $/GB of old HDs. If you want bulk storage, then put those bulky files on magnetic media (i.e. traditional hard drives).

b) Backups, backup, backups. Put a 2nd (or 3rd) magnetic HD on the system and use one (or both) as a target for an Acronis True Image Home backup each month. It's dirt-cheap at $30 (or the 3-pack for $75) and gives you a way to restore the customer's machine to a previous point in time. Even if the SSD dies, you are covered and can get back up and running quickly.

c) Most of the SSD sudden death issues are due to crappy controllers. Pay attention to reviews and avoid the bottom of the barrel SSDs. Image the SSD regularly so that you can restore the system to a new SSD when the existing one dies. Again backups, backups, backups.

SSDs just aren't that expensive any more. Prices are down in the $0.60 to $0.80 per GB range. If you can't afford that, then look into 10k RPM SATA for around $0.30/GB. Both choices are very good for your primary operating system drive and will goose up the responsiveness of an older system so that it can be used a few more years.

And if you're not willing to pay attention to the "backups, backups, backups" mantra, then you deserve to lose your data. Because it obviously wasn't important enough to you to back it up.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46456205)

Those are due to crappy 1st generation sandforce controllers. Problem doesn't happen anymore with the real drives and not munchkins. Did you see the ratings I posted? MaximumPC has an article on Sandisk and others OEM reliability from last month with newer technology (discussed on Slashdot) that have higher endurance. The pro enterprise editions and extreme editions have freaking 80 gigs a day for 5 years warranty.

More reliable than a mechanical as my Seagate drives keep dying after a few years.

They are now only 2.5 as expensive and is the bottleneck in this day and age for consumers.

FYI I have 200 pics of HD photos on my 1 gig sd card. I don't see consumers using close to this unless they have the bloated win 7 sxs on them that with a swap file will take all 64 gigs

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 months ago | (#46461065)

Sorry, bullshit. If you believe those "tests" I have a bridge you may be interested in, those tests are DESIGNED by the companies! What I trust is my own two eyes and I have gamer customers. Translate that as "must have the giant ePeen rig!" customers so they are NOT buying shit and as little as 6 months ago I was shitcanning brand new drives by Intel and Samsung.

And I noticed you tapdanced around the topic very well, kudos. The topic was the WITHOUT WARNING part which the latest and greatest? STILL NOT FIXED. When it dies, which it WILL die, everything fails sooner or later, whether you like it or not thanks to SMART the customers have on average up to a week before the average HDD shits itself, the SSD? NO WARNING, no data can be saved, its all just fucking gone forever. That is unacceptable.

And again in a perfect world everyone would have backups...but if we lived in a perfect world I would be king and we wouldn't need SMART because everyone would have backups that are current and could just swap drives on fail...not a perfect world Billy, not even close. If simply telling folks to follow best practices actually worked there wouldn't be any viruses, 419 scams, trojans, hell most IT guys wouldn't have a job because nothing would ever break.

So you can scream "backup!" forever that isn't gonna change reality which is frankly against you. Reality is you have to make things that work in SPITE of the user, not with the assistance of the user, and SSDs? Not there yet. Will they get there? Maybe, or maybe something new will blow it away, but as long as there is a real chance they can just flip the switch and lose all their work, pics of their dead grandma, everything they actually care about? Then sorry but its gonna be treated as something for gamers, not grandma and Joe and jane and grandma frankly buy more gear than you, which is why damned near every desktop and laptop you see in every B&M on the planet? NOT with SSD.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#46476393)

I have hundreds of mechanical drives in service. Only about 1/3 of them give any meaningful warnings - and many of them tell outright fibs about bad sectors. SMART is only useful if makers don't goose it - and most have goosed it to keep returns down.

BTW, Did you notice most HDD warranties are down to 12 months? There's a reason for that.

RAID saves against sudden drive death (most consumers will ignore signals of impending doom). Backups save against everything else.

If you want the best of all worlds, build a FreeNAS - ssd cached spinning media. If you can't use a NAS, then at least use RAID1.

I've been doing that for a decade because HDDS are unreliable and it's saved a lot of work on desktops over the years. (The cost of staff downtime is far higher than that of a single drive. Better that it's down for a short agreed time whilst the bad drive is changed out than they're sitting round twiddling their thumbs while the system is being reimaged and it just happens to be before a critical deadline.)

Every time someone says tape is dead I look at my petabyes of data storage on LTO6. Everytime someone says SSDs will completely replace HDDs I look at the stats for how long they'll last with the power turned off. Every technology has its niche.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

s13g3 (110658) | about 4 months ago | (#46456299)

Because tape is a dead and obsolete technology too, just like people have been saying it will be with every new storage advance for more than 30 years, right?

Reply to Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447769)

You have no idea how much storage (primary and redundant) is required by Facebook/Google/Amazon/etc.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

neminem (561346) | about 4 months ago | (#46447865)

> Witness how quickly SSD are replacing conventional hard drives.

So... not very quickly? SSDs are way better, yes. They're also way tinier and way more expensive. Maybe eventually SSD will replace mechanical storage, but not until you can go to a store and get a 3TB external for like a hundred bucks. Yeah, that'll probably happen sometime, but I'm not seeing any of those right now.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#46448021)

Price is not the issue durability is.
SSDs are good for holding stuff that can easily be replaced such as executables and shared libraries, but when it comes to data I expect unchanged in 5 years time-- the good old hard drive is better.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46452411)

The newest Sansdisk ssd (for mid and not just high end) has OEM reliability with a 5 year warranty with 80 gigs of writing for 5 years or 4 TB of data writes.

The matches if not exceeds a regular drive. With Raid it is easy to replace a dead disk too.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#46476441)

You're confusing write endurance with storage endurance.

One important spec most people don't look at is how long the content of a SSD will stay intact if the device is put on a shelf and left there a while.

I have high confidence that HDDs will still be readable in 2-3 years. Most SSDs are only waranteed to hold their data for 12 months.

The smaller the SSD cells get, the worse the storage endurance problem is becoming (and smaller cells = slower write speeds too, which brings in a bunch of interesting workarounds such as Samsung's chunk of SLC inside their MLC Evos)

Re:Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46448309)

Maybe eventually SSD will replace mechanical storage, but not until you can go to a store and get a 3TB external for like a hundred bucks.

Don't be silly, people aren't going to buy 3TB disks once SSDs become affordable in the 1TB size.
SSD already has plenty of advantages over spinning platters, it doesn't need to outperform them in all possible ways to replace them for the majority of people.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

nucrash (549705) | about 4 months ago | (#46449097)

You know nothing!

You especially know nothing about Crypto. You have lots of bit brains that won't abandon their beloved spinning platters because they are wanting an SSD. Crypto doesn't work the same way on said SSD. Simply spinning platters are where they exist and where they will stay. Don't expect your hard disk drives to disappear from the world entirely. Also, 4 TB SSDs are a bit hard to maintain. I have 9 at home. I don't expect to ditch them for SSDs any time soon.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449917)

You know nothing!

You especially know nothing about Crypto. You have lots of bit brains that won't abandon their beloved spinning platters because they are wanting an SSD. Crypto doesn't work the same way on said SSD. Simply spinning platters are where they exist and where they will stay. Don't expect your hard disk drives to disappear from the world entirely. Also, 4 TB SSDs are a bit hard to maintain. I have 9 at home. I don't expect to ditch them for SSDs any time soon.

Yeah, because the overwhelming majority of hard drive consumers are worried about crypto.

For FUCKS sake talk about not knowing a thing. Get a fucking clue there skippy...tin foil hats aren't all the rage at fashion week. And neither is crypto. You think a few NSA revelations are going to keep the masses from their beloved ignorance and "click here to save" password features? Fuck no.

Notice the lack of demand for crypto right now. Yes, utter silence as users continue to use their same shitty security mechanisms because they don't care. Even after revelations came out telling them they should.

Good luck finding someone to give a shit in manufacturing if all you're coming to the table with is that shit.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#46449815)

Maybe eventually SSD will replace mechanical storage, but not until you can go to a store and get a 3TB external for like a hundred bucks.

Don't be silly, people aren't going to buy 3TB disks once SSDs become affordable in the 1TB size.

Absurd non sequitur, AC. It doesn't matter a whit what the size of the SSDs is; what matters is the total cost of storage device plus driving hardware per GB.

1) And when will that be when 1TB SSDs reach 1/3 the cost of 3TB HDs, eh? They are currently over 3X, and it has taken a long time to come from 5X to 3X. I currently have ZFS storage in several RAIDZ2 pools on a total of 18 3TB HD's. It cost me about $2200 for the drives. Yeah, I could have used 54 1TB SSDs (plus a hell of a lot more SATA ports, which would mean a vastly more expensive motherboard plus more expensive HBAs) instead, but that would have cost me at least $27,000.

2) People who have a clue about endurance and data retention and need a lot of both are going to use HDs even if the cost of SSDs ever reached parity. It is ignorant to suggest otherwise.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46452409)

Does the average user need 3TB?

Most need about 32 gigs of data as that is what they have on their phones which have replaced the computer. Of course Windows SXS likes 70 gigs for .dll files.

A 240 gig SSD is plenty and they are getting cheaper and chaper and faster and faster rapidly fast. At the end of the year at this rate we will see 1 TB ssds in the $300 range!

For a server yes they are worth the money and themselves in raid and the cost is neglibable compared to the I/o improvement.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 4 months ago | (#46448187)

I think it just adds another layer to the storage tree: near/quick memory all the way to far/slow memory. You have your various layers of cache on the processor, RAM, RAM disks, SSDs, Hard drives, Tape drives, etc.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#46448295)

SSD has gotten less expensive, but it still is about $75/$1.00 a gig, well more than a comparable spinny platter.

There is also the issue of data retention. This is an unknown with SSD. With a hard disk, the magnetic domains tend to stay magnetized in the patterns they were placed in. SSD, once those electronics are out of the gate, there is no recovery of data, period.

I think eventually something will replace HDDs, such as holographic storage, but for now, HDDs will tend to be a mainstay for tier 2, and the primary media for backups (unfortunately [1].)

[1] HDDs are not archival media. Tapes are made for long term storage, and even then, one doesn't assume that data stored will be there forever, so one stored multiple copies. However, a lot of people use external HDDs as archives, which can be risky.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 4 months ago | (#46449635)

If you don't have at least 3 copies in at least 2 locations, it's not really backed up. ;-)

Personally, for some things just a bit of redundancy (Raid-Z2 + hot spares) is enough... other things, I have in as many places as I can get them.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 4 months ago | (#46450995)

SSD has gotten less expensive, but it still is about $75/$1.00 a gig, well more than a comparable spinny platter.

More like $0.50 per gig. Prices have been dropping fast and cheap SSDs are finally on the rise. You can now get an 240GB SSD for $100 which is not bad considering this was absolutely impossible one year ago.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 4 months ago | (#46457017)

Prices have been dropping fast and cheap SSDs are finally on the rise. You can now get an 240GB SSD for $100

and I can buy a 3 TB spinning rust drive for the same price.

Thats 12 times the storage per dollar. As a regular joe sixpack consumer which am i going to pick?

As a computer person I will go with both, a smallish SSD for the OS and a RAID of array of 2-4 3TB Spinning Rust Drives for Storage.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#46476473)

> > Prices have been dropping fast and cheap SSDs are finally on the rise. You can now get an 240GB SSD for $100

> and I can buy a 3 TB spinning rust drive for the same price.

Yes, for a cheap, slow spinner with a short warranty.

Try pricing up a 15-20rpm SAS drive and you'll find they're virtually the same price as SSD - result is that over the last 12 months SAS SSD drives have effectively made high speed spinners as dead as The old Quantum Bigfoot.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#46451561)

You're talking about current/old SSD tech, the new stuff coming out in the next year is based on physical changes to the medium. Resistance based storage.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449229)

So snails pace? To be honest, most people might have a small SSD for quick launch, but bulk storage is still done with HDDs(bulk random read storage). Backups are dominated by tape, universal shareblity is dominated by optical drives when it can't be sent by net. SSDs are used for things that have to be fast, but are small. Also, consider the fact that some of the maintence programs for those SSDs can be very hard to find, many systems aren't able to handle some of the weird things SSDs do(trim and the like). Find me a system these days that you could get a hardrive working on. Then please consider the problems of secure data erasure, which HDDs rule becuase you can scramble them with electromagnets, or hammers, or even fire. Unless they produce electronics where the chips themselves are destroyed on command, then SSDs cannot compete, the traces left in the chips can be recovered.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 4 months ago | (#46457049)

...please consider the problems of secure data erasure, which HDDs rule becuase you can scramble them with electromagnets, or hammers, or even fire. Unless they produce electronics where the chips themselves are destroyed on command, then SSDs cannot compete, the traces left in the chips can be recovered.

For security purposes if their are chips left after you burn something then you aren't using enough thermite.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46450261)

Estimated storage lifespan of the best electronic memory = 3000 years.

Re:Hard drives have no future. (1)

s13g3 (110658) | about 4 months ago | (#46456265)

*sigh* Let me guess, you're either between 15 - 25 years old, and/or have never worked in enterprise-class I.T.? Otherwise, you really ought to know better.

Before I ever entered I.T. professionally 20 years ago, people had been claiming the impending death of magnetic tape for more than a decade. at least, yet it is still with us today. Sure, the round-wheel tape is more-or-less gone, but tape is still going strong.

Similarly, SSD's are not going to completely replace mechanical storage any time soon, if only because as solid-state memory improves, so will mechanical devices continue to do, and they will almost certainly have a place in modern computing for many years yet to come, barring some as-yet completely unforeseen revolution in materials science lowering materials and production costs while raising quality and value to thresholds well beyond anything currently predicted. Then again, the same advance (such as room-temperature superconductors) could have wide-ranging positive impacts on both technologies, increasing memory operation speeds in SSD's while eliminating the mechanical bearing from HDD's and providing similar performance increases.

After all, I'm pretty sure that if I dig back far enough, I can find at least one thread - quite possibly one I made substantially similar comments in - on this very site from ~15 years ago with someone saying much the same thing about how optical (or magneto-optical) is going to make tape/mechanical-drives obsolete. Now we know optical disks have a life-span before they degrade, making them useless for long-term archival storage, and I couldn't tell you when the last time I saw a mini-disc was.

Oh great (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46447641)

Something else that won't work properly in Canadian weather.

Re:Oh great (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#46447951)

Yep. Most touch screens don't work with gloves. e-readers don't work in the cold. an many other devices simply fail because they were "designed by Apple in California" or with the expectations that everybody has a good internet connection. Why do I have to clear off 4 GB of space (25% of total space) on my iDevice so that they can fix a small vulnerability with SSL on IOS?

Re:Oh great (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46448369)

They make gloves that work with touchscreens now. They're only in the thinner gloves, though, not the giant arctic gloves.

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46448613)

They're only in the thinner gloves, though, not the giant arctic gloves.

You obviously never lived in Canada. Thin gloves are useless.

Re:Oh great (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46448789)

I haven't lived there, but I've been there several times. Thin gloves are perfectly adequate in Vancouver even during the winter. Not all of Canada is like Yellowknife.

Re:Oh great (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#46451313)

Yeah, but Vancouver is one of the warmest places in the country. If you live in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, or just about anywhere other than Vancouver, it can get pretty cold in winter.

Re:Oh great (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 4 months ago | (#46448763)

Hell, back around 1990 or so, I was working on a touchscreen interface for the Army, and we had to test with arctic gloves.

For POC on the algorithms, I brought in some ski gloves, then we used the real arctic gloves for QA.

Re:Oh great (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 4 months ago | (#46449651)

So get a capacitive stylus, which would probably work better than really thick/heavy gloves anyhow.

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447963)

As shamelessly stolen from another AC [slashdot.org] :

"Vanadium oxideâ(TM)s atoms take on one arrangement above negative 88 deg. C and another below negative 123 deg. C. Between the two temperatures, however, the material contains blocks with both arrangements. That mixed structure makes it harder for the overlying nickelâ(TM)s grains to flip en masse"

So it's a technological advancement that will only work in Canada and Siberia.

Re:Oh great (1)

InvalidError (771317) | about 4 months ago | (#46448317)

Yeah, Canada is about 100C too warm.

Lasers? (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about 4 months ago | (#46447685)

So a laser and a bigass heatsink then?

Re:Lasers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447807)

They still are ways off from finding something that works at room temperature...

"Vanadium oxideâ(TM)s atoms take on one arrangement above negative 88 deg. C and another below negative 123 deg. C. Between the two temperatures, however, the material contains blocks with both arrangements. That mixed structure makes it harder for the overlying nickelâ(TM)s grains to flip en masse"

Call it what it is. (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 4 months ago | (#46447787)

> a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of a substance called vanadium oxide

Why not say " a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of vanadium oxide" because a substance is called vanadium oxide when it is vanadium oxide.

Re:Call it what it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447857)

I think the author is writing to the rabble and wants to make it clear that vanadium oxide is not something that they should feel bad about not having a clue what it is.

Re:Call it what it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449735)

But they absolutely should feel bad about that!

Not that laymen should be able to cite properties of vanadium oxides (those are the ones that come in cool colors, right?), but no one must be allowed to graduate from high school without knowing what an oxide is or without having seen the word "vanadium" in the periodic table.

They kinda should (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 4 months ago | (#46453687)

It's not an obscure compound, and you can tell exactly what it is from the name.

First you have vanadium - which is right between titanium and chromium on the periodic table; it's a moderately common metal (somewhat more expensive than copper), used mostly as a steel additive. Even if you've never heard of vanadium, the name pretty much tells you that it's an element (which forms oxides, apparently).

Second, you have oxygen, which... yeah. ;)

Re:Call it what it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46447919)

Got to love the current state of chemical education

Re:Call it what it is. (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 4 months ago | (#46450963)

I got my chemical education in college.

I still see the trails sometimes...

Re:Call it what it is. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#46448405)

> a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of a substance called vanadium oxide

Why not say " a 100-nanometer-thick wafer of vanadium oxide" because a substance is called vanadium oxide when it is vanadium oxide.

Because the submitter doesn't know any better and because the editors . . . well they are editors in name only

substances (1)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 4 months ago | (#46449875)

we like our substances, dammit

Re:substances (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#46451427)

we like our substances, dammit

I'm a big fan of Barium Cobalt Nitride.........

Everyone loves BaCoN.

Re:substances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46452241)

I'm still waiting for my Sarium-Krellide batteries so that I can short circuit my phaser to turn it into the equivalent of a photon grenade...

Til then, guess I'm stuck with throwing lithium-ion batteries into swimming small ponds.
 

Re:Call it what it is. (1)

trawg (308495) | about 4 months ago | (#46461737)

To be fair, some people might not be aware that substances are often made up of substance.

Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 4 months ago | (#46447881)

Spinning rotating mechanical disks to store data? Is this 1960?

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46448159)

Wake me up when SSDs are cheaper per gigabyte than hard drives. Last I checked, they were more expensive by at least an order of magnitude.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46448699)

Wake me up when SSDs are cheaper per gigabyte than hard drives. Last I checked, they were more expensive by at least an order of magnitude.

Yes, SSDs are a bit more costly these days. Based on the performance gains, it's usually worth the investment.

However, you seem to be quite oblivious to the fact that storage and memory costs have fucking plummeted over the last two decades. Order of magnitude doesn't even come close to describing that cost delta, nor the capacity or performance gains. What your corporation spent thousands on you can go buy the same capacity of storage from a fucking Wal-Mart store shelf at 3AM and fit it in a hand cart.

Fucking spoiled little bitches consumers are these days...damn.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449365)

Nope. SSDs can't be used here. Not for any kind of unique data. Not allowed. HDDs you can wipe and be sure of, SSDs not so much. I haven't been alive two decades, but know that the HDDs that are used in servers about as old as that will still work just fine, SSDs I've heard of them failing after only a few years. From your point of view the Speed gains are worth the cost of edurance, storage, price, compatibility etc... For many people and companies, the investment is not worthwhile, some because they have 60 terrabytes of media data(who doesn't know a guy like this?), others because of severe budget restraints, more because their hardware is too old, a few who don't care about the speed gains over what they have, a ton who don't use anything other than a package PC, and only the highend ones have them that I've seen, and of course, the people who want diskspace that it doesn't matter how much you rewrite it. All those people for whom the investment isn't worth it, and you say it usually is.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#46449877)

Yes, SSDs are a bit more costly these days.

Ten times or more is not "a bit", twit.

Based on the performance gains, it's usually worth the investment.

Wrong as a blanket statement. For some specific usages, maybe. For a lot of others, no. Just no. Not worth 10X more $; often not worth ANY more $.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46452421)

Wake me up when SSDs are cheaper per gigabyte than hard drives. Last I checked, they were more expensive by at least an order of magnitude.

You can get a 240 gig SSD for $170.

Not everyone needs a 3TB drive.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46448287)

I would not write off 'spinning rust' any time soon.

For the desktop/laptop/portable market the way is clear, SSD. For server farms? They are starting to produce 6TB drives with 7-8 on the radar. What is the cost of 6TB of SSD? Unless you can hit the same price points as HD good luck. Reliability seems to be a tad hit or miss with SSD. You see failed HD's all the time and they usually do it in a 'known fashion'. But for SSD it seems to be, blink, all gone or 'works so awesome I will never go back'.

Reliability is way better than it used to be for SSD. However it is lightyears behind HD for the same amount of data.
http://techreport.com/review/26058/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-data-retention-after-600tb

Density will need to double at least 4 more times for SSD to be in the realm of HD for the same volume. The price will also have to match that. You are paying for 1999 sized drives at early 1990s prices for SSD.

Dont get me wrong. Its getting there. But it will be at least 5-10 years before SSD completely removes the need for traditional HDs. Maybe a bit earlier depending on total cost of ownership. We may even see the 5.25 full height drive come back into existence.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46448437)

I'm a little surprised we haven't seen 5.25" drives already for servers, so I can only assume there's a good reason for that. Perhaps such large platters bend too much at the edges, making alignment problemtic, or maybe they can't be spun as fast reliably, making average access times poor (good on the fast-moving outer sectors, but slow on the inner sectors). The computer industry moved wholesale to 3.5" drives long ago, and there was only one brief fling with 5.25" at the very end: Quantum's "Bigfoot" drives which were 5.25" but very thin. I don't think they did too well and quickly disappeared from the market.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 4 months ago | (#46448605)

Looking at servers, 2.5" drives seem to be replacing 3.5" drives now days.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46448769)

Yes, I've heard this too. It does seem odd, so I wonder what the reason is; you'd think you'd want discs to be bigger, not smaller, as you get much more surface area on a larger platter, plus at a given speed, the outer edges are moving much faster than on a smaller platter, so the transfer speeds for that data will be very high. I must be missing something. Servers wouldn't be going to a smaller form factor just for the heck of it.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46449121)

You are missing seek times, which are a much bigger deal than most people give them credit for.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#46449237)

This is fairly application dependent - especially since most enterprise class hard drives have some sort of caching... ...and that's without factoring in their controllers.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 4 months ago | (#46450237)

Yep, it normaly varies from a pretty big problem to a huge one, depending on the application.

But since it's application dependent, manufacturers don't even need to cite times at their specification. That's maddening.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 4 months ago | (#46448779)

Power and heat. In a large server farm, those are king.

2.5s are less power hungry and generate less heat than 3.5s or 5.25s.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#46451677)

Power and heat. In a large server farm, those are king.

2.5s are less power hungry and generate less heat than 3.5s or 5.25s.

Plus 2.5's are getting large and fast enough to compete with 3.5's.

I bought a 10K RPM WD Raptor (AKA a VelociHeater) years ago before SSD's were mainstream and it was essentially a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" heat sink. With SSD's taking over from 15K enterprise drives the demand for spinning disks is more for capacity than speed, so slower drives that generate less heat and use less power.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

toddestan (632714) | about 4 months ago | (#46458923)

Seems that 5.25" drives would win there too. Sure, a 5.25" drive will use more power than a 2.5", but with today's data densities a 5.25" drive would be massive compared to a 2.5" drive and you would need a lot less of them.

Re:Future of hard drives is oblivion (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#46449937)

You can get lower access latency on a 2.5" drive because the heads are smaller and don't need to travel as far.
They also produce less heat and require less power for the same reason.

I don't think so. (1)

abednegoyulo (1797602) | about 4 months ago | (#46448197)

What would be the edge over our current SSD?

From what I have understood from the summary (I didn't RTFA) the only application that I can think of is a thinner thermal fuse. One layer of this sandwiched between two permanent magnets. When this material detects heat, magnetic orientation switches which will repel both sides opening the circuit. When it goes back, it will attract both sides thus closing the circuit. Advantage is there are no mechanical springs.

May = probably wont (1)

egarland (120202) | about 4 months ago | (#46449095)

That technology doesn't sound very promising.

Re:May = probably wont (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 4 months ago | (#46450253)

A more accurate headline would have been "Will this nanomaterial be the future of hard drives?". Then I would have been able to apply Betteridge's law and avoid wasting time reading the article.

Re:May = probably wont (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#46476531)

Will it be the future of tape? They're not even 1/100th the density of disks yet.

new hard drives (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 4 months ago | (#46450065)

it could but will not. its not a new effect,just new to americans,if this group actualy spent a little time looking they would find out that they have discovered the wheel,again. it may be new to them but its been known about in the electro metal plating industry for years. you have to actualy understand things properly when your incime depends on doing the jop properly and not like this lot tinkering in a lab.

HUH?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46453215)

Flips when heated and cooled???? was that not what the fujitsu dynamo did?

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