Rubber stamp writes data

March 26/April 2, 2003

Scientists from IBM's Almaden research center have found a way to quickly transfer information from a magnetic mask to a magnetic disk.

The method promises to make it considerably quicker to format and copy magnetic media in bulk.

Currently, when a magnetic drive is formatted or an operating system is loaded onto a disk, the information is written one line at a time. Today's magnetic disk drive speeds are about 200 megabits per second. The researchers' prototype transferred information about five times faster, at the equivalent of one gigabit per second.

The researchers' method uses a stamp of soft patterned magnetic material built on a thin plastic base. The stamp has enough give to allow the magnetic material to be in full contact with the recording disk. The method could be used in practical applications in two to five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the January 6, 2003 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

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