Feeds

Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

PSI scientists demo picosecond magnetic 'write'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A group of Swiss researchers has demonstrated using lasers to control magnetisation at extremely high speed, a line of research they hope will one day will help speed up hard drives.

One of the limits of the modern hard drives' performance is how quickly a bit's magnetisation can be accurately changed using a magnetic write mechanism.

The researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute are trying a different angle. Instead of using a magnet for the read-write activity, they've used a laser instead. The terahertz instrument the institute developed for its experiment was able to control the magnetisation of their target material at picosecond timescales.

Published at Nature (abstract here), the group says it has achieved “coherent, phase-locked between a high-field single-cycle terahertz transient and the magnetisation of ferromagnetic cobalt films”.

Getting the magnetic moments – that is, magnetised particles on the ferromagnetic surface – to change state in a picosecond is one trick. Doing so reliably is a second challenge, and for this, the researchers say in this release, they developed a laser with high phase stability.

The PSI researchers haven't yet achieved a complete flip from a 1 state to a 0 state using the laser. The current experiment was, however, enough to let them observe the movement of the magnetic moments. However, according to Christoph Hauri, head of the laser group and professor at Switzerland's EPFL, the group is confident that the beams can be enhanced enough to switch the magnetisation of bits. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'
Public IaaS... something's gotta give - and it may be AWS
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.