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Will Ferrimagnet Technology Replace RAM?

The race to come up with next big idea in memory technology is currently in full swing, but a new innovation that was recently unveiled through a scientific collaboration based out of Europe may be the solution we’ve been looking for all along. According to the scientists involved, the use of ferrimagnetism could bolster processor memory to “100 times faster” than current products.

However, the use of raw ferrimagnets is simply not a viable solution. Because it is a heavy earth-metal material, using such substance is not only expensive, but it’s a strain on the environment within regions that produce raw ferrimagnet materials.

According to the latest news, a team of scientists from the various universities around Europe have devised a way to produce synthetic ferrimagnets. The result is much cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly than the raw material.

One of the collaborators, Dr. Richard Evans, spoke about the new breakthrough in a recent interview. He discussed the current state of disk-based storage as well the potential for future innovations using synthetic ferrimagnets. He was quoted as saying: “Recently, the rate of growth in hard disk drive capacity has stalled due to the intrinsic physical problems of making the bits which store the data smaller.” He continued by saying: “However, it's also possible such a technology could eventually replace RAM memory in a processor. This would be 100 times faster than existing technologies and would have a huge impact on the way processors are made in future.”

Moreover, according to Dr. Evans, the use of ferrimagnets within hard drives could drive storage capacities to nearly 30 terabytes per square inch. In comparison, modern hard drives of today store approximately 700 gigabytes per square inch. Theoretically, a hard drive using ferrimagnetic technology may have 40 times the capacity of what is attainable in today’s hard drives.

The biggest problem faced by the ferrimagnetic technology thus far is the volatility of the material, even when it is used in non-volatile devices such as hard drives. In fact, some IT experts do not agree with Dr. Evans optimism concerning the future of ferrimagnetic storage. With concerns that revolve around erratic fluctuations in material temperatures as well as the viability of large-scale manufacturing of ferrimagnetic drives, many within the IT community are reluctant to embrace ferrimagnetism as the next big breakthrough in data storage.

Mike Chase, chief technology officer with dinCloud, a popular cloud service provider, talked about the instability of ferrimagnets as well as the unsteadiness of other storage mediums in use today. He was quoted as saying: “I don't see the future of storage being magnetic, simply because it's too easy in both consumer and military applications to be interfered with and / or destroyed.” He continued by saying: “No matter what media we put it on, we can't seem to hang onto it for very long," and: "There's a real challenge to not only store the vast amounts of data being generated every day, but also a much more enormous task of trying to preserve it.”


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