Physicists claim laser can increase disk I/O by 100,000 times

High-speed laser bursts found to alter electron spin speed

A team of French physicists said they have discovered a way to use lasers to accelerate storage I/O on hard discs by up to 100,000 times current read/write methods.

The physicists from the Institute of Materials Physics and Chemistry in Strasbourg, France, built their new laser technology on a foundation technology called "spintronics," which won the 2007 Nobel physics prize.

Spintronics, which is short for "spin transport electronics," uses the natural spin of electrons within a magnetic field -- that in turn produce electric output -- in combination with a read/write head to lay down and read back bits of data on storage media.

An intrinsic problem with spintronics has been the slow speed of magnetic sensors that are used to detect the bits of data. But, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Physics, a team of researchers led by Jean-Yves Bigot used a "Femtosecond" laser, which produces super-fast laser bursts to alter electron spin, speeding up the read/write process.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Bigot said his team's breakthrough, which he dubbed the "photonics of spin," ... modifies the state of the electrons' magnetization on the storage surface.

Currently, Bigot's Femtosecond lasers are about 12 inches x 4 inches in size, and so are impractical for consumer electronics, but the device could be miniaturized in the future, Bigot said.

According to the AP, IBM, Hitachi and other data storage vendors of storage are interested in the research.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags storage

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucas Mearian

Computerworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?