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Data Storage Technology

"Colossal Magnetic Effect" Could Lead To Another Breakthrough In Storage Tech 105

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the size-matters dept.
Bryant writes "Scientists with the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered what could bring yet another massive advance in memory and storage. The discovery, a magnetoresistence literally 'up to 1000 times more powerful' than the Giant Magnetoresistence Effect discovered roughly 20 years ago, which led to one of the major breakthroughs in memory, seems to be a result of high-pressure interactions between Manganites. Manganites aren't new to this game; MRAM uses Manganite layers to achieve the Magnetic Tunnel Effect needed to keep the state of memory stable. Applying significant amounts of pressure to known tech-useful materials isn't a new trick; you might recall the recent breakthrough with Europium superconductivity thanks to similar high-pressure antics."
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"Colossal Magnetic Effect" Could Lead To Another Breakthrough In Storage Tech

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  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:35PM (#28227293) Homepage

    This discovery seems to still be in the very preliminary stages. It is premature to conclude that this will lead to substantial improvements. Putting things under high pressure is difficult and keeping them under high pressure is really hard (although from my minimal physics understanding it looks like this could be used to assist in low pressure situations also).

    One thing is certain. If this does lead to improvement in memory we'll have a few months of people asking whatever they could do with all that memory. And then a few years after they'll complain that it isn't enough.

    • People tell me that 7 gigs right now would be overkill.

      We'll wait till Crysis 2 comes out...

      You just watch, new Ram from magnetic discoveries, DX11 release, the boom in multi-core computing...

      Even Next Gen consoles will be amazing

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Even Next Gen consoles will be amazing

        The problem with consoles or even PC gaming is the fact that humans have physical limitations in hearing, sight, smell and touch. It is no good having sound systems that produce frequencies beyond the threshold of human hearing and it is rather pointless producing a display that our eyes cannot detect any improvement over a lesser detailed display. Basically that leaves smell and touch to be explored with regard to interaction, however this area is highly subjective.

        If you look at improvements in consoles

    • by TheLink (130905) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:47PM (#28227405) Journal
      I don't think I'd be complaining much about huge amounts of cheap storage.

      However I'd complain about low bandwidth and high latency.

      Imagine if you have 100TB drives but they only do sequential transfers at 200MB/sec and are still stuck at about 10milliseconds access time (7200rpm).

      What that means: it'll take 6 days to transfer 100TB at 200MB/sec, and random transfer speeds will be about as crap as now (1-2MB/sec).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by frieko (855745)
        That's a bit conservative. 100 times more density means 10 times more data per rotation. So more like 1GB/sec. Besides, who cares how long your site backup takes or how long it takes to fill up your DVR? That's where spinning disks are going. For random access there's SSD's and then probably MRAM.

        On an unrelated note, did it take anybody else 5 tries to not read TFA as "High pressure XKCD is a newly developed technique..."
        • by donaldm (919619) on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:04PM (#28229507)

          Besides, who cares how long your site backup takes or how long it takes to fill up your DVR? That's where spinning disks are going.

          Any business that want to remain in business cares significantly about backup times. Basically you want to backup as quickly as possible (ie. not during business hours) and if required recover just as quickly. Even with disk to disk backups (great and relatively cheap for home use) you are always going to have a latency problem. Unfortunately the more elaborate a backup and recovery strategy is the more expensive it becomes.

          As for a DVR this is normally up to the household although it can be quite funny or stressful when you want backup up you favourite program and you have no more space on the disk. Mass panic to clean up normally happens. Anyone in the IT industry has seen this on a regular basis.

          It must be remembered that backups are not about just recovering data to existing systems if required it is about recovering from disasters as well. It is quite scary that many companies have a half hearted approach to backup and recovery and many don't even go through the exercise of testing a disaster recovery scenario since they think it is going to be disruptive or is going to cost too much. Of course these companies are basically a disaster waiting to happen however it is very difficult for IT to explain to management that they need to test their disaster recovery processes when management can't understand that their own PC's need backing up (at least their user data) as well.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheLink (130905)

          Yeah you're probably going to be right since:

          Modern 1TB drive = 120MB/sec
          Old 10GB drive= 10MB/sec

          But wise people care how long the site backups take. Because if the site _restore_ takes as long it's a problem. So that probably means moving to a "hot standby" sort of backup- which won't be as cheap since you'd need extra stuff - running live off your only backup system is not a good idea.

          As for saying "for random access" there's SSDs, does that mean more of us will be using SSDs in the future, and fewer of u

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by frieko (855745)
            I wonder... what if you had a radial strip of GMR heads instead of a single read head? Thermal expansion means you'd still need a "fine tune" coil. It would be like putting an inch ruler next to a centimeter ruler. Only a handful of lines mate up, but give it a tiny bump and you get a whole new set of mates. Splatter large files across the disk. They would read in as a jumble but you could reassemble in cache. Probably crazy but I swear it works great in my head ;)
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by TheLink (130905)

              Could be more expensive than it's worth for the drive maker to build. They'd rather sell more drives for RAID10. Since the exact same drives could be sold to those who don't want the extra performance. Thus they get economies of scale.

              Whereas it seems (even from the responses here) that most people are quite happy with the current drive sequential speeds, so they wouldn't pay extra for a larger multihead.

              Similar reasons why multiple independent heads haven't taken off:

              http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/actMu [pcguide.com]

              • by frieko (855745)
                Well, the original premise was that one head couldn't read a 100TB drive in a reasonable amount of time. I agree that it doesn't make sense for current drives.
                • by TheLink (130905)
                  I think what will happen is people who need speed will buy multiple 100TB drives and use only the first few TB of those drives (which normally is the fastest). The track to track seek will be faster too.

                  It's a waste, but if they're still cheap...
      • So, we'd be where we're at right now, just with 100x the storage? That wouldn't be too bad in my book.
        • by donaldm (919619)

          So, we'd be where we're at right now, just with 100x the storage? That wouldn't be too bad in my book.

          And a 100 times the backup requirement.. I would like to see the IT manager explain this to Management..

      • by xOneca (1271886)
        I think by then i-RAM [gigabyte.com.tw] will have more capacity.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          That would be great until the power went out for 8 hours and your on-board battery went dead along with all of your data.
      • Don't underestimate the bandwidth of station wagon full of magnetic tapes, could be updated: Don't underestimate the bandwidth of a briefcase full of Colossal(Tm) hard disks? Don't underestimate the size of my portable drive, I've got every song that made it into the charts in every country on this Colossal(Tm) thing. Jenna Jameson 2010, 200Mb/sec required for ColossalVision(Tm)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110)

        Imagine if you have 100TB drives but they only do sequential transfers at 200MB/sec and are still stuck at about 10milliseconds access time (7200rpm).

        Fine with me. rsync rocks. Tape drives, and particularly optical drives (CDs/DVDs/MOs), have FAR WORSE performance characteristics, and they all refuse to die.

        Maybe we'll just see Flash take the place of smaller HDDs, and large slow HDDs take the place of tapes and most uses of optical media.

    • by Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:13PM (#28229071)

      This is not new, nor truly preliminary technology; I researched this back in 2004 and there was already a huge amount in the literature. It's just an incremental improvement and uses by and large existing thin film technologies pushed to their limit.

      Most people didn't even notice the transition from regular magnetorestrictive heads to giant magnetoresistive heads, they were just incorporated naturally so that hard drive densities could further increase. This technology is the obvious and natural extension from giant magnetoresistive heads, and the increased signal to noise ratio will allow for denser drives with no doubt -- although we're already at the point where a "bit" is only made up of a few dozen magnetic domains. But in any case, this type of technology is a prerequisite for using more highly nanocrystalline magnetic materials with smaller domains...

    • The article said 230,000 times atmospheric pressure. I guess this would bring a new dimension to the term "my memory blew up" ... I imagine it would be a lot more dramatic than just letting out the smoke!
  • Storage.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:36PM (#28227303)
    The problem isn't storage its speed. Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of. On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck. Storage isn't a problem.
    • Re:Storage.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by A beautiful mind (821714) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:41PM (#28227345)
      It's a combination of persistence, random I/O and storage actually.

      SSDs are good at the first two, but still have catching up to do on the latter (and price...), but as soon as a reasonably priced 1TB version comes out, that'll be a great boon...
      • Re:Storage.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:45PM (#28227923)

        It's a combination of persistence, random I/O and storage actually.

        SSDs are good at the first two, but still have catching up to do on the latter (and price...), but as soon as a reasonably priced 1TB version comes out, that'll be a great boon...

        Though I do agree that SSD's are definitely the next big thing when it comes to computer performance, there are a lot of things that need to happen before they become the definitive standard in storage. As you mention, the price/GB ratio needs to come down, but in addition to that:

        - SATA 3 needs to come out. Though most SSD's don't exceed SATA 2 bus speeds, higher end SSD's like the OCZ Vertex or Intels X-25m hit 250MB/s sustained speeds. ONFi (open nand flash alliance? something like that) recently announced what is essentially the NAND 2.0 standard which doubles the speed of NAND modules, meaning next generation SSD's could easily hit sustained speeds of 500MB/s without any special tricks like internal raid. SSD's are already faster, but for better futureproof-ness and the ability to get the full potential out of SSD's, bus speeds need to increase quite a bit.

        - TRIM needs to get at more OS's and SSD's support. SSD's write performance degrades with use due to a combination of the mechanics of NAND flash itself and common wear leveling algorithms. Essentially what happens is that when reading the flash blocks, all the SSD has to do is pass over and read the data. When writing though, if the block was previously written to the SSD has to erase the entire block clean and *then* write it. This is further exacerbated on MLC SSD's, where the individual transistors each store 2 bits, which on average doubles the write time with the benefit of double the space for the same price (instead of 0 or 1 like a SLC SSD, each one stores either 00, 01, 10, or 11). TRIM effectively eliminates a step from the write process on a previously used SSD by erasing blocks marked as free by the OS during an idle period, which means that write speeds degrade less over time.

        - Manufacturing processes need to mature, as well as firmwares, wear-leveling algorithms, and filesystems. Unlike platter hard drives SSD's don't have decades of optimization and experience, which means higher than acceptable failure rates, extra consumer knowledge required to properly install and maintain, OS tweaks needed to fully exploit the current capabilities of SSD's, and certain technologies just not being available yet (a recent ext4 v btrfs SSD comparison on phoronix showed that btrfs was much much slower than ext4 despite the potential for btrfs to be better optimized for SSD's).

        My personal belief is that by the time SSD's are halfway done with all of the above (including price/GB), they will overtake traditional HDD's in the market. The advantages of SSD's are already here and apparent, they are just expensive and a relatively young technology with a few growing pains. By the time the growing pains are half resolved SSD's will be much superior in just about every way possible, and then they will really really take off.

        • Re:Storage.... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Artemis3 (85734) on Friday June 05, 2009 @09:28PM (#28229351)

          I think by then MRAM [wikipedia.org] will be ready to take over all memory needs and possibly mass storage needs.

          MRAM is: Fast like SRAM, less power hungry than DRAM (no refresh!), and keeps its state like flash, but without degrading when written to... Its obvious this will make all other types obsolete.

          • Re:Storage.... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by metaforest (685350) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @05:20AM (#28231265)

            With the current market focused on exploiting economies of scale to produce the current generation of high density FLASH in 65nm processes. So far this has been VERY lucrative for the companies that bet the farm on building dedicated 65nm fabs for FLASH.

            IMO: MRAM has unfortunately come a little late to the party. In it's current role it is kind of the Beta Max of the solid-state storage device market.

            Currently only Freescale produces MRAM in any quantity, and they currently only produce 4Mbit parts on a couple of 180nm fabs.

            I don't think there is any question that MRAM has the potential to meet or exceed FLASH on the density/price curve. What might keep it out of the high-density market is one of it's great inherent strengths; it doesn't wear out. Who wants to sell storage modules that don't EOL themselves? Try and sell that to your pointy-haired boss' pointy-haired boss...
            ----
            General Electric wasn't interested in mass manufactured light bulbs until Edison figured out how to get them to FAIL reliably.

            For them that doesn't know: Edison's original design was a carbon impregnated cotton filament, in as near a total vacuum as could be produced in those days. It didn't suffer from filament migration, and other effects that cause modern bulbs to fail. If the original design had been refined as it was, General Electric could have saturated the market for light bulbs in a relatively short time, and been driven out of the market due to the Edison bulb having no predictable EOL.

            • by Firethorn (177587)

              For them that doesn't know: Edison's original design was a carbon impregnated cotton filament, in as near a total vacuum as could be produced in those days. It didn't suffer from filament migration, and other effects that cause modern bulbs to fail. If the original design had been refined as it was, General Electric could have saturated the market for light bulbs in a relatively short time, and been driven out of the market due to the Edison bulb having no predictable EOL.

              Conspiracy theory. The problem with 'last forever' incandescent bulbs is that they're horrible at efficiency. 'Energy Miser' bulbs tend to last a bit shorter than standard bulbs because their filament's are thinner.

              At around $1 for 4, the cost of the bulb is overwhelmed by the cost of the electricity.

              • The problem with 'last forever' incandescent bulbs is that they're horrible at efficiency. 'Energy Miser' bulbs tend to last a bit shorter than standard bulbs because their filament's are thinner.

                This wasn't true in the early part of the light-bulb story.
                Efficiency was not a big consideration back then. Marketability WAS. Early bulbs cost considerably more than the electricity they consumed.

                It took 30 years before tungsten was used in bulb filaments.

                It wasn't until 1910 that tungsten filaments were commer

    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      its both. Servers need both speed and storage. And alot of consumers, especially gamers want both. Plenty of people can fill up a hard drive with films, photos, music etc... yet want their applications and system to be resposive. Ive hear more and more of people using an SSD for their system for performance, and keeping a 'traditional' hard drive for mass storage. Having both says to me that they are just waiting for the costs to come down such that performance and storage are available on a single drive ag
      • Having both says to me that they are just waiting for the costs to come down such that performance and storage are available on a single drive again

        I doubt it. You can have a cheap, fast, or reliable drive or storage array. Pick two of the three qualities. As technology advances we redefine all three so that it's still just as difficult to have a cheap, fast, reliable drive. I'm sure somebody's coined a 'law' describing this.

    • by castironpigeon (1056188) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:46PM (#28227397)

      The problem isn't storage its speed. Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of. On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is the main bottleneck. Storage isn't a problem.

      Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

        No. He's saying that 1TB of RAM is almost enough to run Vista.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I heard the same said for 1GB, not 10 years ago.

        • by youn (1516637)

          I heard something about 640k being more than enough not much longer than that... of course, that was back in the days when we had manic miner on the zx spectrum... :) loved that game

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mcrbids (148650)

        Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

        No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video. If current trends continue, we're fast approaching the point where we really *can* store ALL movies ever produced on a single backpack HDD. We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10. At that time, you can record every second of your life

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Daimanta (1140543)

          "Are you saying that 1TB of space should be enough for anyone?

          No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video. If current trends continue, we're fast approaching the point where we really *can* store ALL movies ever produced on a single backpack HDD. "

          You already can store every movie in the world as long as you don't mind the quality. We still can't store all movies in the world in HD-quality. If we offer a huge storag

          • Well spluh. We'll need more space for those 3D virtual reality movies where you can view the battle from behind the second soldier on the left's shoulder, while noting that he needs to wash his shirt more often.
            • by Chyeld (713439)

              Seriously, have you even started to wonder why there are so many IMAX 3D releases these days? You wanna guess how much space one of those takes up on a hard drive?

              • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                700 MB compressed

          • by rdnetto (955205)

            You already can store every movie in the world as long as you don't mind the quality.

            and the MPAA lawsuits...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          No, but let's be a bit realistic, here. 1 TB is enough space for some 100 hours of DVD-quality video. 1 PB is 100,000 hours of DVD video.

          Sure -- of DVD-quality video. Of course, significantly less of HD video, and even less of, say, Ultra HD with 22.2 channel sound.

          We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10.

          Sure, if you assume that the growth rate is exponential without bound. OTOH, technologies of all types often flatten out as the

        • by toddestan (632714)

          We went from a GB to a TB HDD in about 10 years, so it's not unreasonable to think that we'll have 1 PB in another 10.

          I wouldn't count on it. We've only gone from 1TB to 2TB in the past 2 1/2 years. Things are definently slowing down in the harddrive industry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OpenGLFan (56206)

      I'd love it. Bring it on -- the bigger and slower, the better. Ever since big, slow backup tapes stopped being significantly larger than the drives they backed up, keeping important info safe has been a nontrivial task. If you can back up an enterprise's 20GB-a-day data generation habit with an array of slow-but-reliable 10-20TB drives, then your life gets a lot easier.

    • Simple. Just have a 1TB cache.

    • Re:Storage.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mea37 (1201159) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:21PM (#28227691)

      If you're thinking home computers, maybe.

      For a lot of businesses, 1TB isn't that much. We have systems with well over 1TB of data, to which over 5GB of new data are added every day, with an accelerating rate of new data coming in (as the systems model more fo the business, in more detail, etc.).

      Historically these scales have only increased over time, and nothing is evident that would show that slowing down any time soon.

      Now, do you want all that storage in one HDD? Probably not; there are pros and cons. But, there are absolutely applications where the desired amount of storage on a device exceeds what you could get today. It's not all about how many movies you can torrent.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DigiShaman (671371)

        I do IT work for a (small) Geoscience company. Currently they have projects taking up about 10TB worth of data on-line, and growing exponentially. Often, new SEGY data comes in the form of a 500GB to 1TB portable drives (near capacity) as keeping up with tape technologies no longer makes much sense. It's as though the guys on the boat says "We have this much storage? No problem, let's dial up the data resolution boys".

        God damn, the company I work for can hardly scope out enough storage long term to keep the

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          growing exponentially

          You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • I believe you are correct, but your comment seems to imply the term is not being used properly. Your point is rendered moot for this discussion, as exponential growth is used correctly in this instance.

            I submit that you are limiting the bounds of the exponent without reason.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You have no idea. Two jobs ago (and 3 years ago), the commercial systems I was working on at a Geophysics place had about 1.3 Petabytes of online, actively accessed hard drive storage.

      • by Mattsson (105422)

        But 1 or 2TB per drive will get you quite a data-density.
        You can fit 448TB of storage in a single 48U rack using 2TB-drives. =)

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Really with 1TB of HD space there isn't anything you can't have a lot of.

      Sure there is.

      HDTV takes about 8GBytes/hour. That's just ~120 hours on a a terabyte HDD, or perhaps a month of TV viewing. Now, you're not going to want to save EVERYTHING you view, but you'll probably fill-up a second terabyte drive within a year. Quicker if you're saving blu-ray movies as well.

      So, while it isn't as big of a constraint as it once was, we could still use more space...

      On the other hand I/O, especially magnetic I/O is

      • by donaldm (919619)

        So RAID-0 your drives... Instantly double the speed. And if you really can't find a way to use the space, buy a pair of 500GB drives instead of 1x 1TB drive. With the popularity of SATA RAID controllers, most systems can easily enough have 4 HD drives in a RAID set. Are you suggesting that 4x the transfer speed of the best 10kRPM drives still isn't fast enough for you?

        RAID-0 is a stripe which has no redundancy so loose a drive and you loose all your data. RAID-5 is a safer solution although effectively you cannot use one disk so a four disk RAID-5 has an effective data size of three disks. RAID-5 does not have a good write performance compared to RAID-0 but that it the price you need to pay for redundancy. Of course you could use another RAID-0 array as your backup. You have considered backup haven't you?

        Basically the greater the data the more valuable it becomes and t

        • by evilviper (135110)

          RAID-0 is a stripe which has no redundancy

          The question was performance, not redundancy.

          so loose a drive and you loose all your data.

          I would never set loose a drive, or my data. I keep it safely locked up inside the case...

          Of course you could use another RAID-0 array as your backup.

          No kidding. If you were sane, however, you would probably just use a single drive, 4X as large as the drives in your RAID-0 array, and use RSync to frequently copy the changes over.

          Basically the greater the data the more valuabl

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I work for a company that routinely processes videos of several hours runtime, extracts still images from them etc. Let me tell you that 1 TiB of disk space isn't really that much.

      But on top of that, as you correctly point out, it becomes even worse if you start putting houndreds of thousands jpegs on these things and have to find a program that reliably copies and checks them. Hint: Don't try windows explorer. Robocopy works fine as does BeyondCompare. Most others fail somewhere near 150.000 files, which u

  • well, atleast it will be cheaper than SSS's
    • well, atleast it will be cheaper than SSS's

      Yup, the thermal shield on Super-Sonic Sandwiches is made out of pure Unobtainium.
      We really should start work on a replacement for that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:41PM (#28227347)

    Argonne, ILâ"Millions of people today carry around pocket-sized music players capable of holding thousands of songs, thanks to the discovery 20 years ago of a phenomenon known as the âoegiant magnetoresistance effect,â which made it possible to pack more data onto smaller and smaller hard drives. Now scientists are on the trail of another phenomenon, called the âoecolossal magnetoresistance effectâ (CMR) which is up to a thousand times more powerful and could trigger another revolution in computing technology. Understanding, and ultimately controlling, this effect and the intricate coupling between electrical conductivity and magnetism in these materials remains a challenge, however, because of competing interactions in manganites, the materials in which CMR was discovered. In the June 12, 2009, issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, a team of researchers report new progress in using high pressure techniques to unravel the subtleties of this coupling.

    To study the magnetic properties of manganites, a form of manganese oxide, the research team, led by Yang Ding of the Carnegie Institutionâ(TM)s High Pressure Synergetic Center (HPSync), applied techniques called x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and angular-dispersive diffraction at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. High pressure XMCD is a newly developed technique that uses high-brilliance circularly polarized x-rays to probe the magnetic state of a material under pressures of many hundreds of thousands of atmospheres inside a diamond anvil cell.

    The discovery of CMR in manganite compounds has already made manganites invaluable components in technological applications. An example is magnetic tunneling junctions in soon-to-be marketed magnetic random access memory (MRAM), where the tunneling of electrical current between two thin layers of manganite material separated by an electrical insulator depends on the relative orientation of magnetization in the manganite layers. Unlike conventional RAM, MRAM could yield instant-on computers. However, no current theories can fully explain the rich physics, including CMR effects, seen in manganites.

    âoeThe challenge is that there are competing interactions in manganites among the electrons that determine magnetic properties,â said Ding. âoeAnd the properties are also affected by external stimuli, such as, temperature, pressure, magnetic field, and chemical doping.â

    âoePressure has a unique ability to tune the electron interactions in a clean and theoretically transparent manner,â he added. âoeIt is a direct and effective means for manipulating the behavior of electrons and could provide valuable information on the magnetic and electronic properties of manganite systems. But of all the effects, pressure effects have been the least explored.â

    The researchers found that when a manganite was subjected to conditions above 230,000 times atmospheric pressure it underwent a transition in which its magnetic ordering changed from a ferromagnetic type (electron spins aligned) to an antiferromagnetic type (electron spins opposed). This transition was accompanied by a non-uniform structural distortion called the Jahn-Teller effect.

    âoeIt is quite interesting to observe that uniform compression leads to a non-uniform structural change in a manganite, which was not predicted by theory,â said Ding, âoeWorking with Michel van Veenendaalâ(TM)s theoretical group at APS, we found that the predominant effect of pressure on this material is to increase the strength of an interaction known as superexchange relative to another known as the double exchange interaction. A consequence of this is that the overall ferromagnetic interactions in the system occur in a plane (two dimensions) rather than in three dimensions, which produces a non-uniform redistribution of electrons. This leads to the structural distortion.â

    Another intriguing response of manganite to high p

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the future, instead of using disk compression, you can get your fat momma to sit on your computer.

  • ...someone been watching too much Star Trek [voltaire.net].
  • For shame (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VeNoM0619 (1058216) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:14PM (#28227639)

    seems to be a result of high-pressure interactions between Manganites. Manganites aren't new to this game

    For shame /. No comments or jokes on the obvious? Its right there for the taking.

  • New Tech (Score:2, Funny)

    by Evildonald (983517)
    At last! I hope my magnetic personality won't wipe this new technology as well.
  • It is great but ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lemming Mark (849014) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:27PM (#28227755) Homepage

    Should that Giant Magnetoresistive? Someone else seems to so because the article is tagged "typoinsummary". Google and I haven't heard much about Great Magnetoresistive effect in the past, so unless it's some obscure term...

    But hey, it's not my area of expertise and I certainly agree that with the sentiment that this magnetoresistive stuff is rather great!

  • by cutecub (136606) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:47PM (#28227931)

    How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

    At some point, you run out of superlatives and need to go Exponential:

    Magneto X 10^Super-Hyper-Colossal

    -S

    • Shouldn't there be a "Mega" in there somewhere?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JoshuaZ (1134087)
      Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence-Effect-Mega-Zord! What the Power Rangers use to defeat the evil forces of insufficient memory.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

      Yeah, they were really short sided when they skipped directly from "giant" to "colossal". As all nerds know, the progression goes:
      Fine -> Diminutive -> Tiny -> Small -> Medium -> Large -> Huge -> Gargantuan -> Colossal.

      Since giants are Huge, the next step up in technology would be Gargantuan.

      (And after Colossal comes Colossal+, of course.)

      • It's an unfortunate fact that the naming convention included an superlative... now they have to keep upping the ante each time a new property of magnetoresistance is discovered.

    • LMR Effect (Score:2, Funny)

      by HiggsBison (678319)

      How about the "Super-Hyper-Colossal-Magnetoresistence Effect?"

      I'm waiting for the Ludicrous Magnetoresistence Effect.

    • Google-resistive.

      Much like a lot of Slashdotters.

  • you might recall the recent breakthrough with Europium superconductivity thanks to similar high-pressure antics.

    Well who wouldn't? *shakes head*

    Gosh darn newfangled Europium superconductivity breakthroughs that come out of high-pressure antics. Kids these days.
  • This is not new (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Colossal magnetoresistance in manganites are discovered some 15+ years ago.
    And this area has been very hot in recently years with tons of papers coming out every month. In fact I did my own masters thesis on this particular topic.
    You guys should really check this out, it is so true...

  • This is not new (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Colossal magnetoresistance in manganites are discovered some 15+ years ago.
    And this field is so hot in recently years that tons of papers come out every month. In fact I did my masters thesis just on this particular topic.
    You guys should check this [phdcomics.com] out, it is so true.

  • I suspect never. Very high pressures + spinning media doesn't work particularly well. Not to say this investigation will not lead to some interesting condensed matter physics, which in turn could lead to actual discoveries that make it to market.
    • > Very high pressures + spinning media doesn't work particularly well.

      There may be other ways to create the effect. That's the point.

  • Not that new (Score:5, Informative)

    by booch (4157) * <slashdot2010&craigbuchek,com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:42PM (#28228427) Homepage

    When I did a presentation on hard drives [craigbuchek.com] 3 years ago, I had already read some things saying that the Colossal Magnetorsestive Effect was the next step in read-write head technology. The Wikipedia page says the effect was discovered in 1993. This new discovery might make it more feasible, but hard drive technology developers already knew that CMR would be a part of the technology going forward.

  • by algae (2196)

    2x more powerful, is included in the set of "up to" 1000x more powerful.

  • Giant resistance? Colossal effect?

    We're about two adjectives away from Ginormous.

  • All your Manganites are belong to us!

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