Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Increasing SSD Capacity With the Help of Sound

By - Source: XT | B 18 comments
Tags :

Researchers at Oregon State University may have found a way to delay the storage industry's trend to introduce heat assisted recording technology.

Instead of using heat to support an increase in storage density, the researchers said they can target ultrasound waves at a "highly specific region" and hold a tiny region of a material to be bent or stretched. The advantage of sound is that its impact can be more easily contained while heat tends to spread beyond a target area.

"We’re near the peak of what we can do with the technology we now use for magnetic storage," said Pallavi Dhagat, an associate professor in the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "There’s always a need for approaches that could store even more information in a smaller space, cost less and use less power." Dhagat said that sound waves could improve storage density in SSD devices.

"This technology should allow us to marry the benefits of solid state electronics with magnetic recording, and create non-volatile memory systems that store more data in less space, using less power," said Albrecht Jander, also an associate professor of electrical engineering working on the research.

There was no information on a working system using this technology, but hopefully it won't be long.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Display 18 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Chairman Ray , February 28, 2013 4:08 AM
    I think the range of ultrasound that it produces is kinda important. I fear that this may be a dog's worst enemy...
  • 10 Hide
    bak0n , February 28, 2013 4:09 AM
    Just don't sneeze to hard near it, you might crash your system.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    CaptainTom , February 28, 2013 3:25 AM
    Sound... What?
  • 5 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , February 28, 2013 3:39 AM
    CaptainTomSound... What?


    Here's a close-up of this new, experimental technology:
  • 3 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , February 28, 2013 3:41 AM
    That link disappeared(?).... Craptastic comment system... :) 
  • 7 Hide
    freggo , February 28, 2013 3:45 AM
    Wondering if Mozart or The Beatles recordings work better :-)
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , February 28, 2013 3:53 AM
    Uh, so millions of little speakers inside the device?
  • 15 Hide
    Chairman Ray , February 28, 2013 4:08 AM
    I think the range of ultrasound that it produces is kinda important. I fear that this may be a dog's worst enemy...
  • 10 Hide
    bak0n , February 28, 2013 4:09 AM
    Just don't sneeze to hard near it, you might crash your system.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 28, 2013 4:39 AM
    therealduckofdeathThat link disappeared(?).... Craptastic comment system...


    Sometimes, youhave to edit links back in. The link "Read the comments on the forums" between the article and the comments section lets you edit your posts. You can give it a try from there.
  • -8 Hide
    PreferLinux , February 28, 2013 5:17 AM
    I don't see how sound is any more localised than heat to be honest. If anything, less so.
  • -9 Hide
    photonboy , February 28, 2013 5:27 AM
    This is possibly the STUPIDEST IDEA EVER!

    SSD's work by having millions of little "buckets" to hold electrons and the copper wires are a delivery system.

    How would a SOUND version of this work?
    There's really no way to have a main source that focuses sound at the scale they imply. It's also an added cost.

    Maybe I'm dead wrong, but I know how Hard Drives and SSD's work and can't even remotely picture how this would work.
  • 1 Hide
    guardianangel42 , February 28, 2013 6:47 AM
    My interpretation was that SSD makers now have the ability to utilize sound instead of heat in the FABRICATION process, not the device itself.
  • 5 Hide
    Nakal , February 28, 2013 9:13 AM
    freggoWondering if Mozart or The Beatles recordings work better :-)


    Run for your life if they use Justin Beiber...
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , February 28, 2013 10:57 AM
    Very confused about the article, title says it'll help make SSDs hold more data, while the article talks mainly about HDDs. In the context which they're talking about it, i'm not even sure it applies to SSDs.
    freggoWondering if Mozart or The Beatles recordings work better :-)

    Needs more metal, maybe Iron Maiden or something.

    Chairman RayI think the range of ultrasound that it produces is kinda important. I fear that this may be a dog's worst enemy...

    bak0nJust don't sneeze to hard near it, you might crash your system.

    I'm sure the case will be sealed and soundproof.
  • 0 Hide
    CrArC , February 28, 2013 11:28 AM
    How would ultrasound be technically feasible? Disregarding how the sound itself is generated, wouldn't the speed at which bits are written to the drive be vastly higher than the speed at which sound waves could be generated and propagate through the medium?

  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , February 28, 2013 3:00 PM
    Since they talk about this being better than HAMR, I think this article is supposed to be entirely about HDDs except for this paraphrase:
    Quote:
    Dhagat said that sound waves could improve storage density in SSD devices.

    and possibly this:
    Quote:
    This technology should allow us to marry the benefits of solid state electronics with magnetic recording, and create non-volatile memory systems that store more data in less space, using less power.

    It isn't clear how this quote relates to stretching or bending small metal elements using sound waves, though, nor how it relates to increasing storage density in an SSD. SSD != SSE. Instead, perhaps he's talking about a way to eliminate the need to move a physical magnetic read head across a disk? Just not clear.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , February 28, 2013 5:26 PM
    photonboy... Maybe I'm dead wrong ...

    Yes you are.

    This article doesn't really make a lot of sense. They want to delay heat assisted recording in HDDs by making SSDs better? Those technologies are about different devices. Why would increasing SSD capacity make manufacturers stop increasing HDD capacity? Unless they are talking about SSDs overtaking HDDs in terms of capacity (which doesn't seem likely here) in which case people would pretty much stop using HDDs.
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , February 28, 2013 5:27 PM
    CrArCHow would ultrasound be technically feasible? Disregarding how the sound itself is generated, wouldn't the speed at which bits are written to the drive be vastly higher than the speed at which sound waves could be generated and propagate through the medium?


    The speed you would be talking about is the length of the waveform, which exceeding 40kHz is extremely small. In a small controlled environment you wouldn't have to worry so much about propagation loss. If anything I think it's interesting that they are adding a mechanical element to solid state.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , February 28, 2013 6:25 PM
    Here's an article directly from the university: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2013/feb/researchers-invent-%E2%80%9Cacoustic-assisted%E2%80%9D-magnetic-information-storage

    It isn't any more clear than the excerpt that Wolfgang published. It doesn't look like they're talking about SSDs in the commercially-available sense, but rather about a new technology that's kind of like magnetic recording ala HDDs, but somehow uses ultrasound to store or help store the bits. So a little like HAMR, but then they go on about a solid state memory device:

    Quote:
    It should also be possible to create a solid state memory device with no moving parts to implement this technology, researchers said. Unlike conventional hard-disk drive storage, solid state memory would offer durability.


    The article doesn't say who "researchers" refers to, or how such a device would work. It certainly doesn't look like a HAMR replacement unless they're talking about just the ultrasound transducer itself and not the entire storage device. And it doesn't look like it has ANYTHING to do with traditional SSDs. To get high storage densities, it has to be talking about manipulating bits on a uniform surface at a microscopic scale. So I don't know how they think this can be done solid state without an actuator arm, but who knows. Maybe they're really smart guys or something.

    Now let's do some quick math:

    If present-day commercial HDD technology supports streaming writes at up around ~120 MBps from a 3-platter device, then that's 40 MBps per platter, or 320 Mbps per write head. This means that each bit on the platter is being written for no longer than 1 / (320 million) = ~3.1 ns (question: are write heads single-bit, or parallel?), and likely much shorter than that. So these guys are either saying that they want to use ultrasound to warp the disk surface in just 3.1 nanoseconds, or else that the write data rate is going to be much slower.

    I need a picture. I just don't see how this tech is going to fly.