With more content being created everyday as pictures, music, videos, and of course text, the need for storage is constantly growing. Increasing storage is not easy though as new technologies have to be developed that not only have higher data densities but are also stable enough to store the data for extended periods of time. Researchers at Oregon State University have recently discovered a means to improve magnetic data storage, like hard drives, and potentially also create a new kind of solid state memory.
It is well known that one way to increase the storage density and decrease power requirements for magnetic data storage is to heat the area you want to write the data. The heat makes it easier to write the data but can potentially corrupt nearby data if the heat is not contained to the single bit. What the researchers have done is invented a technology to mimic the effects of heating the storage material using ultrasound. Once the ultrasound is stopped, the material returns to its normal state, but only the intended area has been affected.
If this technology were implemented within a standard hard disk drive, storage capacity would increase and power requirements would decrease, because creating the ultrasound requires less energy than making a stronger magnetic field. The researchers also believe it is possible to create a solid state storage device using this technology, which would be more durable than its disk-spinning cousins.
Source: Oregon State University