Boffins come up with faster data storage

Boffins have come up with a way speed up conventional hard drives and solid state drives (SSD) which they think will be thousands of times faster than current hard-drives.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego faculty have said that their new invention will give a speed of thousands of times faster than a conventional hard drive and up to seven times faster than current SSDs. 

Dubbed Moneta, the system uses phase-change memory (PCM) which is an emerging data storage technology that stores data inside the crystal structure of a metal alloy.  The alloy is  called a chalcogenide and apparently doing all this makes things super fast because PCM is faster and simpler to use than flash memory.

And the boffins have had a little help from their tech friends with Micron Technology, BEEcube and Xilinx so there are a few places that are going to want to put it on the shelves.

According to the scientists unlike conventional hard disk drives, solid state storage drives have no moving parts. Although faster than hard disk, flash memory is still too slow to meet modern data storage and analysis demands, particularly in the area of high performance computing where the ability to sift through enormous volumes of data quickly is critical. They said examples include storing and analysing scientific data collected through environmental sensors, or even web searches through Google.

To store data, the PCM memory chips switch the alloy between a crystalline and amorphous state based on the application of heat through an electrical current. To read the data, the chips use a smaller current to determine which state the chalcogenide is in.

Moneta also uses Micron Technology’s first-generation PCM chips and is claimed to read large sections of data at a maximum rate of 1.1 gigabytes per second. It can apparently also write data at up to 371 megabytes per second.

And the boffins want to build the second generation of the Moneta storage device in the next six to nine months. He has high hopes when it comes to marketing with claims that the the technology could be ready for market in just a few years .