New, what appear to be, minor advancements in the fields of computer hardware science(which move us into bigger and bigger arenas) are happening all the time. One such startling discovery was the use of 'acoustic-assisted magnetic recording'. The use of high frequency sound waves to enlarge storage capacity. Heat being another way storage material can be expanded to increase capacity, but is not easily controlled and more likely to spread to unwanted areas, doing damage.
Spot On Discovery
But a team of electrical engineers at Oregon State University, headed by Dr. Pallavi Dhagat and Dr.Albrecht Jander, associate professors at the University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, have found the spot-on solution to heat. It is a move forward in data density and storage capacity. The types of techniques for transferring information onto 'magnetostrictive' materials being tested were two: heat-assisted and sound-assisted. Thus far, the sound-assisted technique uses energy at a rate 100 times less than heat-assisted recording and enables greater control when 'stressing' the material to transfer the data.
The Path Ahead
These discoveries are past feasibility and conceptual studies, now applications must be worked out. Questions arise as to how ultrasound equipment will strap to conventional disc technology and at what cost?! How will these discoveries impact the life of the magnetic storage materials, will we be able to push the threshold limiting SSDs today?! It is clear, the team at Oregon State University have ushered us into the next evolution of solid state data density and recording technology.