The bright engineers over at Fujitsu have are developing a new technology that could literally triple hard drive capacity in the near future. What’s truly amazing is how the idea came about.
Holograms. Yeah, those things that used to come on special edition baseball cards back in the early 1980's. True story:
“Fujitsu's next big idea literally came from those aluminum "hologram" stickers you frequently see on the front of cereal boxes, and the certification tape of sealed software cases. Making those pretty colors onto aluminum uses a process called anodization, which is a kind of electrolytic "washing" that leaves pits beneath its surface. The non-pitted regions become oxidized to form what's called alumina.
This pitting can change the color of aluminum, but it also increases its corrosion resistance. The size of those pits has already been known to be "nanoscale." What if the location of those pits could be predetermined, so a manufacturing process could place pits in an exact arrangement? Then those pits could be exploited for use as bits, in the data sense.”
The new technology could be in shipping products by 2010, and would allow up to 1 TB per square inch at first, but could ramp up to a stunning 10 TB per square inch once the technology reaches maturity.