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[Category : - Computers and computer accessories ]
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This invention is related to data storage technology, especially to three dimensional ultrafast magnetic memory devices.
Motivated by personal life experience of individuals to huge amounts of experimental data obtained in the research centres, there is a world-wide growing demand to come up with novel
device structures that allow efficient data storage with practically unlimited capacity and ultrafast operation. On the other hand, there are several issues that current HDD technology faces in terms of performance, capacity, cost and complexity of manufacturing. Among those, the greatest challenge is capacity, that there is a limit to areal density of a recording medium due to interplay between scaling of bits and thermal stability. This very well-known problem is called the superparamagnetic effect. Briefly, Reducing the bit size to boost the data storage density,
depending on the magnetic properties of the medium, magnetic instability issues at room temperature emerge and result in loss of data. One way to overcome this problem is to use media with high magnetic anisotropy energy density, which on the other hand require impractically high magnetic fields for magnetization reversal. This not only causes higher power consumption but also
exceeds the write-field limit of current write-head technology. That conflict is known as trilemma of magnetic recording.
So far the data storage companies are trying to implement thermally/microwave assisted recording technologies to get around these issues. However still storage densities exceeding 20 Tb/in2 will be very difficult to attain and any way the energy assisted and patterned media recording technologies
will lead to substantially high manufacturing costs. In the long run any recording two dimensional recording technology will not be sufficient to address the necessity to store huge amounts of data.
Therefore it is inevitable, is to go beyond two dimensions and invent three dimensional recording devices.

Our invention, as well, proposes a new three dimensional recording media structure, utilizing techniques already experimentally proven. Our invention includes the structure of a three dimensional optomagnetic recording device. The read/write technology is based on optomagnetic recording and GMR/TMR read sensors. We do not yet propose a new read/write scheme beyond these two well-known techniques for this memory.
To list the benefits of our invention, first, after reaching the areal density limit by decreasing the bit size on one surface, we can extend the structure in the third dimension by duplicating the same layer as many as needed and bonding them on top of each other. This operation will result in unlimited capacity since there is no constraint for the fabrication of this 3D structure. Second, the - 2 - techniques that are used in our invention such as opto-magnetic recording and spin-torque induced domain-wall motion are ultrafast (subnanosecond regime). Furthermore the proposed parallel vertical shift substantially reduces the data transfer and access times. Therefore this is not only a 3D but also an ultrafast memory. Third, due to all optical recording of bits, there is no need to apply external magnetic fields and no need for an external aperture for heating the medium as envisioned in thermally assisted recording. A VCSEL needs only a feww microamperes to operate. The spin torque threshold currents also scale with the bit size and are in the microamp scale. Being a magnetic memory (non-volatile) in addition to the need to apply very modest currents for ultra short periods of time for the actual read/write and data transfer operations imply that this is a very energy efficient device.

Market assessment:

The market that our invention would be applied is information storage industry. This industry is dominated by large companies such as IBM, Western Digital, Seagate etc. All of these companies
are always in a competition with each other to obtain the
greater market share. Achievement of this goal relies on introducing novel devices which have better performance, higher storage capacity and lower costs. That’s why all of them have their own research centres where scientists and engineers work on developing new techniques. For each new improvement and invention, companies would like to own them as patents both for themselves to sell and for preventing other companies to sell or use those new inventions. On the other hand, this kind of futuristic devices have huge potential to increase reputation of companies by advertising.

Three dimensional magnetic memory* is a highly promising major
technology in future’s data storage industry. Most of the companies possess patents on different designs of three dimensional memory such as IBM’s Race-Track Memory. Our invention is also a unique device comprising ultrahigh density 3D design, ultrafast processing, low power consuming optical recording method. So in future’s data storage technology competition, our invention is a challenging alternative that
those major companies would definitely like to own.

*Parkin. US Patent No: 7,551,469 B1

Ozatay et al. US Patent No: 8,164,940

Key risks:

Of course there is always possibility of such a new technology or method to change the way data storage industry improves, 3D memory is obviously the best solution for the near future. Since
none of the 3D memory devices are in the market, which sort of
3D design will be the most beneficial and practical is yet unknown. All of those prototypes need proper engineering to take
part in the market. In that situation, every original design
share the same potential of being commercialized.

Roadmap of information storage industry: thermally assisted recording (data recording assisted by laser pulses) is regarded as the most promising future memory technology
to go beyond 20Tb/in2 areal density for two dimensional magnetic drives. Our current invention addresses the unavoidable
physical limitation of scaling down bitsizes by employing a 3D sto
rage scheme. On one hand since laser assisted recording technologies are already being implemented, our 3D storage solution looks quite promising on the other hand alternative 3D recording technologies not involving optical means are also under consideration such as IBM’s race-track memory.

Commercial projections

Although it is difficult to give numbers since there are diff erent competing technologies, the winning technology will undoubtedly lead to a billion dollar market.

For more information see the

International Magnetic Tape Storage Roadmap

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