According tomedia reports, storing data on tape may sound retro, but in fact, it is still widely used for archiving because of the high density of data on tape. Now, researchers at the University of Tokyo have created tapes using a new material that enables higher storage density and greater anti-jamming capabilities, as well as new ways to write data to tape using high-frequency millimeter waves.
SSDs, Blu-ray discs, and other modern data storage technologies can be written and read quickly, but their storage density is not the best and the cost of scale-up is high. Although tape has not been popular at the consumer level since the 1980s, its slower pace in data centers and long-term archive storage is an acceptable price to pay for higher data densities.
But of course there is room for improvement, and in the new study, researchers in Tokyo developed a new storage material, as well as a new way to write materials. The team says it should have higher storage density, longer life, lower costs, better energy efficiency and greater resistance to external interference.
“Our new magnetic material, called epsilon iron oxide, is particularly suitable for long-term digital storage,” said Shinichi Ohkoshi, lead researcher on the study. “When the data is written to it, the magnetic state representing the bit becomes resistant to the external stray magnetic field, which may interfere with the data. We say it has a strong magnetic anodes. Of course, this feature also means that it is more difficult to write data first; “
To write data, the team developed a new method they called Focus-mmWax Auxiliary Magnetic Recording (F-MIMR). Millimeter waves with frequencies between 30 and 300GHz are aligned with the epsilon iron oxide belt, while under the influence of an external magnetic field. This causes the particles on the tape to flip their magnetic orientation, generating a little information.
“That’s how we overcome what’s called the ‘magnetic record three’ in data science,” said study author Marie Yoshikiyo. “The three difficult questions describe how, in order to increase storage density, you need smaller magnetic particles, but smaller particles are accompanied by greater instability and data is easily lost. So we have to use more stable magnetic materials and produce a whole new way to write them. To my surprise, this process can also be very power-saving. “
The team hasn’t elaborated on how much storage density the new technology has — instead, the study appears to be a proof of concept. That means there’s still a lot of work to be done, and the team estimates that devices based on this approach could be on the market within five to 10 years. Over the same period, we may see the emergence of many very different storage technologies, such as laser etching glass slides, holographic films, DNA, and the genomes of living bacteria, but there are always benefits to improving existing infrastructure.
The new study was published in the journal Advanced Materials.