hypnosec writes: A team of researchers have managed to boost storage density on traditional magnetic platters to up to 3.3 terabit of data per square inch, a six-fold improvement (ed : actually 5.28 times) on current storage density figures, simply by using NaCL, the ubiquitous table salt. Seagate unveiled the first 4TB hard disk drive last month and this particular model had an areal density of 625Gb per square inch only . A research team headed by Dr Joel Yang from Singapore's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering with other scientists from the A*STAR's DSI and NUS used a technique called nanopatterning (more details can be found here through the official media release [PDF]) to create arrays of magnetic bits that have more regular features than the current traditional, randomly distributed technique. Dr Yang compares the technique to a well known traveling trick; "It’s like packing your clothes in your suitcase when you travel. The neater you pack them the more you can carry." Yang said, "In the same way, the team of scientists has used nanopatterning to closely pack more of the miniature structures that hold information in the form of bits, per unit area".
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