Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a new enhanced magnetic material that can store unprecedented amounts of data.
Owing to the new material’s unique properties, the researchers led by Professor Shin-ichi Ohkoshi from the University’s Department of Chemistry, have also come up with a special process to write and retrieve the data.
Explaining the process Dr. Ohkoshi says: "When data is written to it, the magnetic states that represent bits become resistant to external stray magnetic fields that might otherwise interfere with the data. We say it has a strong magnetic anisotropy. Of course, this feature also means that it is harder to write the data in the first place; however, we have a novel approach to that part of the process too.”
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To stuff more data inside the same amount of space, the researchers had to overcome the well-know limitation of magnetic data recording known as the Magnetic Recording Trilemma.
"The trilemma describes how, to increase storage density, you need smaller magnetic particles,” explained Professor Marie Yoshikiyo, one of Dr. Ohkoshi’s assistant on the project, adding: “The smaller particles come with greater instability and the data can easily be lost. So we had to use more stable magnetic materials and produce an entirely new way to write to them. What surprised me was that this process could also be power efficient too."
Dr. Ohkoshi’s work could soon revolutionise magnetic storage with new tapes that can, according to our calculations, potentially store upto a petabyte of compressed data.
“Although the experiments were very difficult and challenging, the sight of the first successful signals was incredibly moving. I anticipate we will see magnetic tapes based on our new technology with 10 times the current capacities within five to 10 years.” Dr. Ohkoshi concluded.
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