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Insane Storage: Store 10 TB in a Quarter

A breakthrough in storage technology by researchers brings capability of packing the contents of roughly 250 DVDs onto a disk the size of a quarter.

The new storage technique involves ‘self-assembly’ properties of chemically dissimilar polymer chains to array themselves into extremely dense, yet perfectly regular formations within cell sizes as small as three nanometers according to Ting Xu of the University of California at Berkeley and co-lead investigator Thomas Russell of UMass Amherst.

In theory, three-nanometer domains could create a storage density of 10 terabytes per square inch. When compared to the record 803 gigabytes per square inch achieved in rarified testing of perpendicular magnetic recording at TDK’s labs, the new technique beats that by nearly 12.5 times over.

Xu and Russell’s nanoscale arrays may also prove to be useful in circuit design as the self-assembling-polymer method has the advantage of not relying on typical photolithography technology that is commonly used for circuit design now.

Quoting Ting Xu :

“The challenge with photolithography is that it is rapidly approaching the resolution limits of light. In our approach, we shifted away from this ‘top down’ method of producing smaller features and instead utilized advantages of a ‘bottom up’ approach.”

Xu has also mentioned that their technique is more environmentally friendly than photolithography since it does not depend on harsh chemicals and acids. However, this new approach to extreme storage densities is not doing us any good sitting in a lab, but according to Xu, “The beauty of the method we developed is that it takes from processes already in use in the industry, so it will be very easy to incorporate into the production lines with little cost.”

If you are interested in reading a far more in-depth explanation of this new storage technology, the University of California has papers available here.

  • Dekasav
    Oooo. That's shiny, can't wait for this technology to show up in retail products a few years from now.
    Reply
  • gwolfman
    Hook it up! A thumb drive would allow you to carry all the data you could want (for not at least) and boot multiple OSes directly from there and store all your data with you wherever you go! Just plug in a USB/eSATA port and away you go! Weeeeeee!
    Reply
  • It seems like there are new storage technologies coming out everyday. Can't they just pick one and run with it? ;-)
    Reply
  • gwolfman
    gwolfmanHook it up! A thumb drive would allow you to carry all the data you could want (for not at least) and boot multiple OSes directly from there and store all your data with you wherever you go! Just plug in a USB/eSATA port and away you go! Weeeeeee!I meant for "now" at least....
    Reply
  • captaincharisma
    well you know businesses they try to make everything smaller and hold more data at the same time
    Reply
  • hellwig
    How do you recall data stored at 3nm? We are talking wavelengths well-below ultra-violet to get that kinda resolution. It took them how long just to create HD-DVD and BluRay? Probably not going to see this technology in even a decade.
    Reply
  • Hatecrime69
    Just imagine that guy's pr0n stash now
    Reply
  • If it's so easy to "incorporate into production lines" then why can't they have this technology deployed by the end of the year?
    Reply
  • StupidRabbit
    panetrezIt seems like there are new storage technologies coming out everyday. Can't they just pick one and run with it? ;-)
    now that you mention it.. all those manufacturers switched to making ssd disks and now they come up with this.. and if it proves to be as easy to make as they say, then this is probably the future of storage. we shall see, we shall see
    Reply
  • I remember reading about these techniques 2 years ago... what have they done to improve utilizing it?
    Reply