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Data Storage

Data Storage Pioneer Wins Millennium Technology Prize 40

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 @01:13PM (#46706079) Journal


    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. []

  • Re:Wow, 16GB? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:47PM (#46706357) Homepage

    I still remember the first computer I encountered with a 1GB hard drive back in 1995.

    At the time, with Windows installed the HD was so overwhelmingly empty as to have an echo.

    People used to go over and sit at the machine just to bring up a file browser and see the listed free space and go "oooh .... pretty".

    Fast forward a few decades, and you can buy and 8GB USB stick in the express checkout at Wal Mart next to the bubble gum (literally).

    Every now and then I need to remind people that their smart phone is a computer which is at least a million times faster and with at least a million times more capacity that the first ones I got to use. Because storage was measured in KB, and processor speed was in KHz.

    I once joked to a university professor that 1GB of iron core memory would alter Earth's magnetic field beyond belief. Now I can't find many people who know what I mean by iron core memory.

    Of course, I had an onion on my belt, which was the style in those days ...

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire