Friday, March 6, 2009

Physical storage

In class, we talked about different ways of storing data -- as charges, as magnetic polarization, and using physical or chemical changes. My jokes about punch cards aside, physical storage does have potential benefits -- particularly in terms of longevity. Michael De Rosa points out two research projects in this area:
  • IBM's Millipede uses a MEMS array of probes (much like the magnetic MEMS arrays we talked about), but these probes heat and are used to physically deform the surface of a piece of acrylic glass.
  • Norsam's HD-Rosetta project etches data into a nickel plate, which can then be read either optically or with an electron microscope. The product is based upon research from Los Alamos National Lab. They claim that HD-Rosetta can store 23-400 gigabits / sq in.

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