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Data Storage

Data Storage Pioneer Wins Millennium Technology Prize 40

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thanks-for-getting-us-to-a-buck-a-gig dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "The British scientist Stuart Parkin, whose work made it possible for hard disks to radically expand in size, has been awarded the Millennium Technology Prize (Millennium-teknologiapalkinto). Professor Parkin's discoveries rely on magneto-resistive thin-film structures and the development of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) spin-valve read head. These advances allow more information to be stored on each disk platter. Technology Academy Finland — the foundation behind the award — justifies the prize by saying that Parkin's innovations allow us to store large volumes of data in cloud services." He is currently working on Racetrack memory, which would obsolete flash and hard disks (and probably even RAM).
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Data Storage Pioneer Wins Millennium Technology Prize

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  • Radical expansion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CurryCamel (2265886) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:13PM (#46706079) Journal

    TFA:

    The first use of spin-valve sensors in hard disk drive read heads was in the IBM ® Deskstar 16GP Titan, which was released in late 1997 with 16.8 GB of storage.

    1997. That's why I was scratching my head and wondering what radical expansion. In my view, HDDs have expanded on a steady exponential curve in size since ... forever.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hard_drive_capacity_over_time.svg [wikipedia.org]

    • by geekoid (135745)

      A cuple of time on there they were hitting dead ends, then some smart person invent a new way!

  • I understand how it might be a viable substitute for ram, but I'm not sure if it's persistent like flash storage. Which would make it an abysmal substitute for hard drives.
    • by bra1n (3416909)

      I understand how it might be a viable substitute for ram, but I'm not sure if it's persistent like flash storage. Which would make it an abysmal substitute for hard drives.

      The first line in the linked wikipedia page says its non-volatile, so it should be persistent.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      The first line of the linked wikipedia article:

      Racetrack memory (or domain-wall memory (DWM)) is an experimental non-volatile memory device under development at IBM's Almaden Research Center by a team led by Stuart Parkin

      So yes, it's persistent. How persistent is a separate question. Flash memory for example is also classified as non-volatile, but while data won't be immediately lost when power is removed there's a definite unpowered data-retention life - after all those billions of tiny capacitors all have leakage currents - leave them unrefreshed long enough and bye-bye data.

  • Facepalm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:32PM (#46706235) Homepage

    You know, storing vast quantities of stuff on disk was a good starting point, and worthy of recognition.

    And then they had to go and mention the cloud and spoil it.

    This is why we can't have nice things, because you can't talk about anything without reverting to the latest buzz words.

    • by lgw (121541)

      Well, it is the future. Most people just aren't interested in having their entertainment in files they schlepp around from device to device. Having it all "in the cloud" so that it's available from the mobile-device-of-the-moment is what most people actually want.

      Wanting to manage your own files is a weird, geeky thing. Always has been, really.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Having it all "in the cloud" so that it's available from the mobile-device-of-the-moment is what most people actually want.

        Well, the media companies like it too.

        Since they're largely also ISPs, they can charge you for the media, charge you for the bandwidth to access your media every time you use it, and make your media go away any time they decide the license terms have changed. You'll pay through the nose, and then pay again and again until they take it away.

        And this is precisely why I won't buy any Blu

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Does that happen anywhere?
          My cloud storage is free, and doesn't impact my ISP bill at all. Nor doe sit impact my phone bill.

          Don't confuse controlling you media with make crap up and just being grumpy..You could rip your Blu-Ray disk as well and not worry about it.
          Really that is the Nerd thing to do. SInce you aren't going about it smartly, then yes, you are being a geek.
          ZING!
          Yes, Blu-Ray implementation of HD drives me up a wall as well.
          I still say it one becasue it's packaging was Blue instead of Red.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Specifically It's a neologism.

      That said, what's wrong with buzzwords? The take an idea and let you express it easily.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ..yeah exactly more so because without this invention there would be much much more demand for shared cloud storage and cloud streaming services. .but really, thanks to this now you could store several years worth of music on your desktop quite easy.

  • Its been years since I've even seen a 24", 50 platter hard drive. They seem to get smaller every year.

  • Professor Parkin work dealt mainly with spinning disks for data storage.
    Parkin's son's work deals mostly with shaking.

  • Millennium award? That sounds either 13 years late or way, way too early.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's called the becasue its a statue of a Corellian YT-1300.

      FYI: to get the most out of your YT-1300 I recommend some personal modifications.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "which would obsolete flash and hard disks"

    I think you're missing a VERB there... 'Obsolete' is not a verb... Neither is 'leverage', by the way, dickhead 'business types'...

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