Jump to content

Storage of Data: What will replace hard drives and SSD?


Priyanka

325 views

Less and fewer games fit into your favorite console, and your smartphone is running out of space for 4K video... Even data centers began to occupy huge areas to accommodate a huge amount of data. In the near future, classic media will no longer cope with the avalanche of content, and there will be only hoping for another technological breakthrough. But what exactly should we expect?

what will replace hard drives and SSD

From analog to digital: storage of data before and today

To store information and, as a consequence, to transfer knowledge to descendants, mankind began hundreds of thousands of years ago. First, there were drawings on the rocks, then clay tablets, papyrus, and parchment, paper and canvas — until, finally, in the middle of the twentieth century, mankind has not entered the digital age. From that moment on, the amount of accumulated information began to grow exponentially.

Quote

It took mankind 300 thousand years to create the first 12 exabytes of information in 2000, but in the second 12 exabytes gone only a couple of years

At first, computers could not store information but only processed what was entered into them by means of perforated tapes or cardboard cards. The first truly digital media disk was the IBM 350, introduced in 1956. It was a Cabinet about one and a half by two meters in size, in which there were 50 magnetic disks. The capacity of the IBM 350 was 3.75 MB. Today it is possible to record only one mp3-track with average bitrate. Nevertheless, it was a breakthrough, because such a disk replaced almost 8000 punch cards of IBM standard.

IBM 350

First hard drive — IBM 350

The only serious discovery from that moment can be called except that the creation of solid-state drives in the 1980s. And even then, they were revolutionary only in the speed of reading and writing. SSD capacity is comparable to classic magnetic disks, HDD, whereas the cost is higher. You can read about the validity and intricacies of the transition from HDD to SSD in our article.

Meanwhile, the need for more capacious, energy-efficient and ideally cheap media is becoming more apparent every day. In 2017, total Internet traffic exceeded 1,000 exabytes or a billion terabytes. If you write this information on 650 MB CDs and stack them, the height of the information is four times the distance to the moon.

Quote

If you record all Internet traffic for 2017 on CD, the stack of disks will be four times greater than the distance to the moon.

We are already actively watching the 4K video, and in the foreseeable future, we will move to 8K, enjoy movies, long streams and live broadcasts. According to the Statista service, in 2021 the total amount of data stored in data centers will be close to 2500 exabytes.

Data volume in data centers in the world from 2016 to 2021 (exabytes)

Data volume in data centers in the world from 2016 to 2021 (exabytes)

As you can see in the diagram above, disk arrays in data centers occupy huge areas and consume large amounts of electricity. Now the largest Chinese data center occupies a million square meters. Soon the pile of giant data centers will cease to be effective and cost-effective. Modern Winchester based on electro-mechanical principles is morally and physically obsolete. The industry will physically require a much greater breakthrough than the transition to solid-state drives. So where can we expect?

Immediate prospect

Magnetic memory with multi-bit cells:

One of the most promising technologies of the near future is magnetic memory. Each cell is capable of storing more than one bit of information. All modern disks are based on the principle of the presence/absence of an electric signal in the cell. That is, the bit has two States-1 or 0.  In 2016, Israeli and American physicists developed a memory cell in the form of three magnetized ellipses, which can be in six States.

Magnetic memory with multi-bit cells

Such a cell can store three bits of information instead of one, as in classic drives. At the same time, scientists claim that it will not be necessary to radically change the existing architecture of magnetic memory. Thus, ideally, the storage capacity can be tripled while maintaining the amount of energy consumed and the physical size of the media. 3 TB in the smartphone-well, this should be enough for everything! No? Then...

Ferroelectrics aka FRAM:

In this case, scientists are developing a type of memory that can accommodate not three, but a hundred times more information. As a" minor " bonus — much longer life of the drive and less than traditional drives power consumption.

Ferroelectrics are based on a crystal lattice with an atom inside each cell. The atom can be polarized in one of two positions under the point influence of a magnetic field regardless of the environment. Obviously, this is equivalent to one bit of information. Moreover, the state of the cell is preserved even without a magnetic field. That is, the ferroelectric memory is non-volatile, which in consumer electronics will significantly save battery power.

Ferroelectrics aka FRAM

One of the main problems is that when reading information from such drives, it must be overwritten. Somewhat smoothes the situation the fact that the process of overwriting one bit takes about a nanosecond. Accordingly, the speed of reading / writing ferroelectric memory is several times higher than that of the most modern flash memory. However, until the problem is solved, the mass distribution of ferroelectric hard drives is questionable.

Holographic or volumetric optical memory:

Optical discs like CD, DVD, Blu-Ray will soon be called Antiques. But, according to scientists, the technology of such drives has not yet exhausted itself — this is perhaps the most promising method of recording and storing information. According to different versions, comparable in size to our usual "compact" disk can hold from 1 to 10 TB and store them for hundreds of years.

Quote

The entire collection of games with your console, you can now fit on a holographic optical disc.

The essence of the technology is that instead of a direct constant impact of the laser on the surface of the disk, a beam with variable intensity and direction (polarization) is used. The optical carrier itself has up to hundreds of transparent layers (which provides the "volume" of the technology). And, depending on the frequency of the radiation and the polarization of the beam, one unit of volume can be used to record different information. In this case, reading and writing are not made bitwise, and the whole "pages", that is, the speed is much higher than in the usual drives.

Holographic or volumetric optical memory

Distant prospect on the verge of fantasy

Atomic memory:

Recording 1 bit of information in a standard HDD requires approximately 100,000 atoms on a magnetic disk. But this, according to experts from IBM, is a too wasteful use of space. Engineers set out to record 1 bit of information per atom. In 2017, scientists managed to create the world's smallest magnet, which allowed to rigidly polarize a single atom, writing and reading from it 1 bit of information.

Atomic memory

If you can put the process "on stream", it is theoretically possible to create a tiny drive weighing only 1 gram, which will fit 456 exabytes of data.

Quote

Atomic drive, weighing 2 grams can be stored for the entire Internet in 2017, but the fit is not even a smartphone - in the smartwatch.

However, while the technology is barely worked out even in the laboratory. Besides, it requires a tunneling microscope, which will fit neither in mobile nor in PC gaming or in the apartment. And this is not the only problem that will have to be solved. Engineers also need to develop controllers that can write and read data at the atomic level, not to mention processors that have enough performance to process such amounts of information.

DNA as a hard drive:

No, it's not about to enter information into the DNA of a living person — it is unlikely that technology will help to prepare for all exams at once, learn kung fu and learn the secrets of the universe. Talking about synthetic DNA, where information is encoded not wildlife, but a human artificially.

The point is simple: binary machine language is translated into" DNA format", that is encoded in four bases, which are assembled in pairs in a well-known double helix. When information needs to be read, DNA is sequenced, which is deciphered.

DNA as a hard drive

DNA synthesis and sequencing today are standard and relatively inexpensive procedures that underlie, for example, genetic analysis. Artificial coding and decoding of information in DNA is also a fait accompli. In 2016, scientists were able to write in 1 gram of DNA 200 MB of information — clip group OK Go. And last year the musical group Massive Attack in this format released the album Mezzanine.

However, in comparison with the theoretical potential of this technology, a music album, and a clip are trifles. According to scientists, one gram of the synthesized DNA can theoretically fit up to 1000 exabytes, which is 2/3 of the total content of the data centers of the planet in 2018. But even this is not the main advantage of the technology. As we know from the experience of modern genetics, the information in DNA is stored even in a vacuum, even under the bed in the dust for hundreds of thousands of years.

Quote

DNA is an indestructible media that can survive mankind.

Summary

The need for new types of information storage is becoming more urgent. Given the rate of growth of information produced by mankind, this problem will have to be solved very soon. But how to replace traditional media? It is unclear: all at one stage or another of the experiments. Although success is already there. And maybe soon we will stop thinking how much memory is in the smartphone, and terabytes and petabytes will be measured in grams.

0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Blog Entries

    • By M. Konwar in Film
         0
      At a recent panel dedicated to "Rick and Morty," the authors revealed that they are already working on the seventh season of the animated series.
      According to writer Dan Harmon, he can no longer clearly track plot milestones — he even threatened to unwittingly reveal spoilers for the fifth or sixth season. Harmon also hinted that the" space version " of Beth will return in the future and somehow affect the overall plot.
      Previously, the Adult Swim channel swooped in on 70 episodes of the project from the creators, and so far the show has just reached the season 4 finale - this happened at the end of May.
      There is no exact date for the premiere of the sequel yet.
    • By M. Konwar in Film
         0
      In a recent interview, Zack Snyder said that for his version of "Justice League" in total, no more than 4-5 minutes were completed.
      Specifically, we are talking about new scenes, for which the director attracted most of the original cast. The numbers were so small because all the other material needed to complete the tape was already in the hands of the director - it only needed to be finalized. Simply put, the film's running time will still be four hours.
      He also revealed that this time there was no "focus group", and the tape will be made without any interference with the author's vision. By the way, in his version of the Joker, to the image of which Jared Leto returned again, will be slightly different from the image from "Suicide Squad".
      Snyder's Justice League will premiere on HBO Max in 2021.
    • By M. Konwar in Health
         0
      Distortion of science for political and economic ends has prevented the allocation of needed resources to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens. This places all of society as a whole at risk, but exacting an insufferable toll of death and disability on our front-line healthcare workers, along with our most vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has demonstrated how dangerous this scenario has become.

      We have seen the United States top officials publicly flaunt the wearing of masks and use substandard infection control practices.  A super-spreader event was even created at the White House’s Rose Garden when rapid testing was used to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This type of test is known for high false negatives especially with trying to detect asymptomatic carriers. And a security guard for the president was seen wearing an N95-mask with an exhalation value, a setup for spreading the disease.
      There also have been reports that the federal government has impeded or mitigated CDC recommendations for cruise ship No-Sail orders, and to pressure the CDC regarding school openings.  Having consistent scientifically based messaging on a national level is of utmost importance. The messaging in the United States can be characterized as nothing short of bizarre.
      The CDC has flip-flopped on guidance regarding the use of masks on public transportation, the testing of asymptomatic carriers, and was late to stress the importance of spread with viral aerosols – too many of our buildings are not healthy. Significant infrastructural changes are needed to allow for proper social distancing, increase in ventilation, and air sanitization. Infrastructure upgrades are expensive and so far the United States does not have the political will to actualize these changes.
      Needless to say, it is a warning that the abandonment of scientific evidence-based recommendations has all but stymied effective public health responses in the United States.
      Health Care Worker and Patient Safety is of Paramount Importance
      One of the worst aspects of the United States’ response is the failure to provide adequate personnel protective equipment (PPE). The United States’ federal government has not invoked the Defense Production Act to assure an adequate supply of N95-masks for our workers. These masks require a key ingredient ‘melt blown textile’ which is difficult to manufacture. Relying solely on the free market is ill-advised since, similar to the N1H1 pandemic, industry is reluctant to retool for manufacture when they may not recoup their startup costs. This reluctance has its roots in the ideology and the desire of leaders not to create excess mandates and government overreach.
      Some feel the delay in recognition of aerosolization as a major mode of spread of SAR-CoV-2 was related to the paucity of N95-masks and the desire not to alarm workers. As of this writing, N95-masks are still in short supply.
      The impact that this lack of basic protective gear has had may never be known, for no one is counting SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths in front-line workers.  A lack of mandatory reporting of work-related illness has resulted in incomplete reporting on healthcare personnel; the number of healthcare workers who died from COVID-19 could be between 752 to above 4000. The bottom line is, we need to do better.
      We have stressed in the past the importance of establishing a surveillance system and regular screening of healthcare workers for endemic dangerous pathogens and those pathogens which have frequent outbreaks in a facility, including pathogens CRE, Clostridioides difficile, MRSA, and SARS-CoV-2.
      Healthcare workers also need to have an economic and healthcare safety net for both themselves and their families. Paid sick leave is of paramount importance, since it is not ethical to have a healthcare worker making the untenable choice between the safety of patients and placing food on their family’s table.  Acquisitions of dangerous pathogens that occur during an outbreak or pandemic should qualify the worker for presumptive disability.
      Additionally, no one is counting patients who contract COVID-19 in hospital settings. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition for a SARS-CoV-2 hospital-acquired infection is unfortunately next to useless; “Total current inpatients with the onset of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 fourteen or more days after admission for a condition other than COVID-19.” Unfortunately, this definition is next to useless.
      For many patients, the greatest chance of catching SARS-CoV-2 is on the day of admission, due to being placed in a freshly turned over room and possibly going through the emergency room for initial treatment. Thus it is unlikely that few SARS-CoV-2 HAIs will be captured. The most accurate metric would be a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition which would occur 5 days after admission, including those which present after discharge. This metric would balance false positive and negative results and give a much better estimate of overall system performance. This mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 data is reminiscent of past pandemics where countries have a long history of hiding the numbers, as opposed to reporting them and correcting the problem.
      The Need to Take Care of Disparate Populations, Even the Elderly
      Initially, the virus emerged in the northwest region of the United States and devastated Nursing Homes where infectious disease regulations were all too lax. In 2019, the CDC attempted to strengthen infection prevention in nursing homes by enacting the strategy of Enhanced Barrier Precautions.. ‘Enhanced’ a  deceptive word, since these precautions are less stringent than Contact Precautions (these precautions were being advocated for the control of the CDC’s ‘Urgent Threats’ of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Candida Auris and can also be applied to patients colonized with MRSA). Recommendations for Enhanced Barrier Precautions state: “Residents are not restricted to their rooms and do not require placement in a private room.”
      Enhanced Barrier Precautions allow carriers to participate in nursing home activities and only require healthcare workers to implement contact precautions for high-risk activities, but even low-risk activities, such as passing meds, occur so frequently that one would expect frequent healthcare worker contamination.
      These precautions do not appear to be based upon how the MDRO spreads, but instead on avoiding more stringent and resource-intense strategies.
      Such strategies would include: Healthcare worker screening and availability of abundant PPE, along with determining the patient’s microbiome, and if dangerous pathogens are present, decolonization, and as a last resort cohorting patients with similar pathogens in dedicated facilities. Pathogens do not care about politics or the needs of the individual, they are genetically programmed to spread.
      Conclusions
      Dangerous pathogens are genetically programmed to spread. Strategies need to be based upon the pathogen and not the political expediency of our leaders or to lessen the economic impact on our healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the need for public support and embracement of scientifically based public health strategies to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens (proper building ventilation, widespread testing, social distancing, wearing masks, and hand hygiene). These strategies can be expensive to implement and may cause a severe short-term economic burden but are the fastest path to a full economic recovery.
      Whether one deals with MRSA or COVID-19, screening, and decolonization or self-isolation of healthcare workers is of utmost importance. Their health, the health of their families along with their patients depend upon it.
       
      This post is by Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, and originally appeared on the BMC blog network.
    • By Priyanka in Food
         0
      Flax seeds are an amazing superfood that combines a huge variety of different nutrients and is useful for all body systems. Even in ancient Greece, a decoction of Flaxseed was used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and for more than two thousand years, doctors have strongly recommended adding it to the diet. What is so useful flax seeds and how best to use them in food, we tell in our material.

      What are the benefits of flax seeds?
      Flax seeds contain the plant compound linamarin - it evenly envelops the walls of the stomach, creating a protective film on it that prevents harmful toxins from being absorbed, and protects the stomach mucosa from ulcers and gastritis. In addition, the high concentration of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in flaxseed significantly increases the elasticity of blood vessels and heart muscle, strengthens them, and helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Even if you don't have heart problems right now, regular consumption of flax seeds reduces the risk of them appearing in the future.

      Flaxseed is a source of antioxidant compounds. They protect body cells from free radical damage and have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidants are the real elixir of youth: they nourish the skin from the inside, prevent the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation and protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
      Flax seeds are rich in magnesium and phosphorus, which are essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. They increase concentration and performance and improve memory. A number of active substances in flaxseed strengthen bones, muscles, and tendons, prevent respiratory diseases, and restore the acid-base balance of the body.
      What's more, flax seeds are essential in your diet if you are looking to lose weight. They help burn visceral fat, and due to their high nutritional value, they provide long-term satiety and significantly reduce the risk of overeating.

      How to add flax seeds to your diet?
      The most important thing: it is useless to add whole flax seeds to food - the hard shell of the seed is beyond the strength of our stomach, which means that not a single nutrient will be absorbed by the body. The seeds can be crushed, or they can be soaked in warm water for 1-2 hours (then the shell will become soft and easily digested, and useful substances will enter the body).

      Further, in chopped or soaked form, flax can be added anywhere - here you are limited only by your imagination. Flax seeds are a great addition to your morning porridge, smoothie, or avocado toast. They can be sprinkled on salads, vegetables, and meat dishes, added to cream soups and stews.
    • By M. Konwar in Coronavirus
         0
      Arundhati Roy observed: “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.” I however, have set my expectation lower for COVID-19, hoping that this pandemic will provide the motivation to make the changes we always knew needed to happen, but lacked the political will and motivation to implement them.
      The United States’ failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic is multifaceted and started with a lack of infectious disease infrastructure and the failure to learn from outbreaks of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) and past epidemics.  Of overriding importance, was a failure to conceptualize that we all live in the same biosphere.  Whether we are confronting global warming, antibiotic resistance, or a pandemic; everyone’s actions affect the health and welfare of all.  We cannot hope to control the spread of infectious diseases without international cooperation and universal access to healthcare.
      That We Need to be Prepared and Maintain a Robust Infectious Disease Infrastructure
      Over the past two decades, the world has seen major epidemics from EBOLA, SARS and MERS.   Singapore learned from experience and upgraded their infectious disease infrastructure,  Their stockpile housed almost three N95 masks per resident at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, although not every country was so well prepared.
      The United States went in the opposite direction and stepped back from its leadership role in pandemic preparedness and response, largely ignoring the advice of its scientific community. CDC funding was cut in 2019 and had a projected decrease for 2020, From 2017-2020,, the CDC’s China staff was slashed from approximately 47 to around 14 individuals, including epidemiologists and other health professionals.
      In the Spring of 2018, the United States’ pandemic response team was disbanded and its activities were largely reassigned to other agencies. Crimson Contagion, a pandemic response scenario, predicted a confused uncoordinated response, which aptly foretold what took place. Our strategic reserves of N95 masks were all but depleted but even at maximum capacity, the stockpile was only designed to provide 2.4% of the projected need for 3.5 billion masks.
      Testing and Surveillance of Community Spread is Key to Stopping An Epidemic
      Early detection of community spread is vital to generate the ‘Data-for-Action’ which is needed to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens.
      During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, the Government of Guinea, changed the case definition by requiring a positive laboratory test to diagnose an infection and document spread. The country had limited testing capability and because of this, the number of reported cases fell. The world thought the epidemic was under control, but instead it spread into surrounding regions and countries, undetected by response agencies throughout the word.
      Similarly, the United States had inadequate testing early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus entered our pacific Northwest. A decision was made not to adopt the World Health Organization test which was developed in Germany, and prohibit independent labs from performing Laboratory-Developed Tests. Instead, the United States was to rely on a test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was found to be defective. This resulted in a limited testing capability and restrictive criteria on when to obtain a test. Asymptomatic spread was not detected, and the virus spread throughout communities in the United States.
      The United States has limited data on community spread for all of the pathogens listed by the CDC as Urgent and Serious Threats.  For the most part, what we know is based upon small studies which generate data from skewed populations admitted or seen within our healthcare system, and there is even limited data regarding MRSA, the most common organism responsible for dangerous co-infection in COVID-19 patients. The CDC does collect data regarding MRSA infections which occur within the first three days of hospitalization; this data is felt to be a surrogate for community infections, but it is not released to the public.
      CDC guidance was also changed to no longer recommend screening for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers.  There was a resultant outcry from public health officials regarding how ill-advised this was; and who quickly retorted that without knowing community spread and identifying asymptomatic carriers, one could not control the pandemic. The CDC quickly revised their guidance again and recommended testing for asymptomatic carriers, but in the United States, the opposite holds true for prevention of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). There is opposition to identification of carriers and the screening of patients on admission to hospitals, and even with isolation and decoloniziation of those who harbor the organisms (for more, click here, here and here).
      The Need for a National Reporting System for Dangerous Pathogens
      A major deficiency in the United States’ infrastructure was the absence of a national reporting system for infectious diseases. In 2012, the requirement for hospitals to keep an infection control log was eliminate, and the excuse given was that hospitals already track infections through other reporting systems.
      However, of the CDC’s five contagions designated as ‘Urgent Threats’ only Clostridioides difficile is mandatorily reported on a national level, and of the ‘Serious Threats’ only Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcal Aureus (MRSA) is mandatorily reported on a national level and only for acute care hospitals.
      One of the key lessons from this pandemic is the need to implement a mandatory National Reporting System for all dangerous pathogens which encompasses all types of healthcare facilities and providers. This has been accomplished for SARS-CoV-2, and the same should be true for all of the CDC’s ‘Urgent’ and ‘Serious Threats’. A national reporting system needs to encompass all types of infections and co-infections. In addition, specific types of infections including catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections and ventilator associated infections need to be reported.
      The system also needs to be real-time and transparent. In response to COVID-19, nursing home interim guidance in the United States requires facilities to, “Inform residents, their representatives, and families of those residing in facilities by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the occurrence of either a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms occurring within 72 hours of each other.”  The same needs to be true for all dangerous pathogens in all types of healthcare facilities.
      What lessons have been learned?
      Many lessons have been learned from COVID-19. We have learned that case definitions can be rapidly created and a reporting system which comprises all types of healthcare facilities can be implemented. The same needs to be done for other dangerous pathogens, including the CDC’s Urgent and Serious Threats, and strategies need to be standardized across all types of facilities. SARS-CoV-2 does not vary its lethality or infectivity based upon the facility type or region of the country.
      South Korea embraced public health strategies early on and to date has lost less than 500 residents in their country. If the United States would have followed this strategy early on, it would have lost approximately 3000 individuals (corrected for population), a far cry from the over 220,000 residents which have died from COVID-19.
      Every citizen needs to care for and protect others. In the prevention of infectious disease, the old mentality needs to be abandoned. This means the adoption of a national strategy which has robust contact tracing and contacts being willing to self-quarantine.
      Of utmost importance in controlling this pandemic, we need a robust infectious disease infrastructure, a national reporting system for all dangerous pathogens to allow for strategic resource production and allocation, along with extensive contact tracing for SARS-CoV-2 and contacts being willing to give up personal freedoms and self-quarantine for the benefit of others.
       
      This post is by Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, and originally appeared on the BMC blog network.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.