Could your infrastructure become storage?

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Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016

A new development by Professor Chan-Ho Yang of the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) could be about to revolutionise magnetic storage forever. A team of researchers led by the professor has discovered a way to induce magnetic properties in any material.

Scientists have known about the innate magnetic properties of every substance for some time – but they’ve never been able to manipulate them before. The team from KAIST have built on this discovery, creating a way to manipulate magnetic properties in a wide range of materials.

Although there are several potential applications for this technology, data storage is one of the more obvious. Scaled up, it should be possible to massively increase storage capacity and data access rates.

Increased capacity, reduced power demand

Using magnetoelectric interaction (rather than traditional magnetic fields) the KAIST solution can adjust magnetic state within materials. This approach significantly reduces power demands, helping to increase the overall efficiency of the technology too.

Previous attempts to manipulate magnetic state have been reliant on temperature extremes, low or high, to work. This temperature requirement cancelled out any power savings and made the technology impractical for the vast majority of deployments.

Yang’s team have solved this problem however. Magnetoelectric interaction can be performed at room temperature using chemical pressure. The magnetic state is also fully reversible – one of the key requirements of any new storage medium. You can read more about the specifics in Nature Physics journal.

A new frontier for storage devices?

If virtually any material can be used for data storage, OEMs will be able to develop creative new solutions that use the magnetoelectric interaction technology. Rather than the disk formats we currently use, the physical casing of an array could conceivably become part of the available capacity.

Going further, the entire data center could play a part in storage, perhaps even the building itself. If Yang’s technology does make it to market, data center design could be changed forever, not least because air conditioning and airflow provisions will be redundant.

The challenge of increased demand for storage is forcing physicists and engineers to become more creative in finding new solutions. And it could be that the KAIST team is about to change IT storage forever.

Until then, why not give us a call to discuss how your existing storage devices can be used more effectively.