David Kirkpatrick

February 16, 2010

1TB solid state drive on a postage stamp

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:47 am

Well not really on a postage stamp, but really that small. Let’s review: one terabyte solid state drive packed into around a square inch of real estate. This definitely fall into the “I’ll really believe it when I see it on store shelves and installed on motherboards,” but man this is one data storage breakthrough. For the record Toshiba thinks these will be on the market in two years.

From the link:

A team of Japanese researchers from Toshiba and the Keio University in Tokyo, led by Professor Tadahiro Kuroda, claims to have developed a technique that will reduce the size of SSDs by around 90 per cent. Not only that, but the technology also increases their  by 70 per cent and makes them cheaper to manufacture.

April 30, 2009

Quantum cryptography becoming practical

Looks like things are moving that direction. Very cool.

The release:

Computer hackers R.I.P. — making quantum cryptography practical

Quantum cryptography, a completely secure means of communication, is much closer to being used practically as researchers from  and Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory have now developed high speed detectors capable of receiving information with much higher key rates, thereby able to receive more information faster.

Published as part of IOP Publishing’s New Journal of Physics‘ Focus Issue on ‘Quantum Cryptography: Theory and Practice’, the journal paper, ‘Practical gigahertz quantum key distribution based on avalanche photodiodes’, details how quantum communication can be made possible without having to use cryogenic cooling and/or complicated optical setups, making it much more likely to become commercially viable soon.

One of the first practical applications to emerge from advances in the often baffling study of quantum mechanics, quantum cryptography has become the soon-to-be-reached gold standard in secure communications.

Quantum mechanics describes the fundamental nature of matter at the atomic level and offers very intriguing, often counter-intuitive, explanations to help us understand the building blocks that construct the world around us. Quantum cryptography uses the quantum mechanical behaviour of photons, the fundamental particles of light, to enable highly secure transmission of data beyond that achievable by classical encryption.

The photons themselves are used to distribute keys that enable access to encrypted information, such as a confidential video file that, say, a bank wishes to keep completely confidential, which can be sent along practical communication lines, made of fibre optics. Quantum indeterminacy, the quantum mechanics dictum which states that measuring an unknown quantum state will change it, means that the key information cannot be accessed by a third party without corrupting it beyond recovery and therefore making the act of hacking futile.

While other detectors can offer a key rate close to that reported in this journal paper, the present advance only relies on practical components for high speed photon detection, which has previously required either cryogenic cooling or highly technical optical setups, to make quantum key distribution much more user-friendly.

Using an attenuated (weakened) laser as a light source and a compact detector (semiconductor avalanche photodiodes), the researchers have introduced a decoy protocol for guarding against intruder attacks that would confuse with erroneous information all but the sophisticated, compact detector developed by the researchers.

As the researchers write, “With the present advances, we believe quantum key distribution is now practical for realising high band-width information-theoretically secure communication.”

Governments, banks and large businesses who fear the leaking of sensitive information will, no doubt, be watching closely.

 

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December 19, 2008

Toshiba announces 512GB solid state drive

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:22 am

Don’t call ’em hard drives — but I will –with no moving parts and increasingly large amounts of storage. What’s not to like?

From the link:

Toshiba said Thursday that it will soon offer samples of 512G-byte solid-state drives, which could make their way to laptops and other devices by mid- or late next year.

Storage capacities of solid-state drives, or SSDs, are doubling every few months, but Toshiba’s 512G-byte SSD is the highest storage capacity announced for SSDs intended for consumer devices like laptops. Most PC makers today offer 128G-byte SSDs for laptops, and competitor Samsung recently said it put into mass production 256G-byte SSDs, which will become available in a few months.

SSDs store data on flash memory chips and are often compared to hard drives. SSDs consume less power and have no moving parts, making them a good storage option for laptops compared to hard drives, which store data on magnetic platters. However, SSDs provide less storage capacity and are more expensive than hard drives.

Numonyx developing new flash memory

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:25 am

In a down market one company is still innovating.

From the Technology Review link:

Flash memory is a major reason for the ubiquity of handheld gadgets, from MP3 players to video games. But this year has been rough on companies that manufacture flash memory chips. Supply is outstripping demand, as the economic downturn has many people postponing purchase of the newest gadgets. Research firm iSuppli projects that worldwide flash revenue will plummet 14 percent in 2008 and slip another 15 percent in 2009. And Toshiba, the second-largest flash manufacturer, announced that it would slash production by 30 percent next year, after posting the lowest profit in four years.

Amid all this turmoil, however, Swiss memory startup Numonyx has announced a slew of new high-capacity flash products that cover a broad range of applications. There are chips designed to be integrated into devices such as mobile phones and navigation systems, added as storage in computers, and used in high-capacity memory cards.

The new chips have transistors that measure only 41 nanometers across, down from the 48 to 57 nanometers of Numonyx’s previous chips. Fabio Gualandris, vice president and general manager of the data management group at Numonyx, says that the 41-nanometer chips indicate the company’s rapid progress since April, when it was launched to commercialize technology from Intel and STMicroelectronics.

December 9, 2008

August 19, 2008

World’s smallest SRAM

From KurzweilAI.net — just wow!

Kudos to IBM, AMD, Freescale STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and CNSE

Researchers Build World’s Smallest SRAM Memory Cell
PhysOrg.com, Aug. 18, 2008

IBM and its development partners — AMD, Freescale, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) — have announced the first working static random access memory (SRAM) for the 22 nanometer technology node.

The new SRAM cell (basic building block) has an area of 100 square nanometers, breaking the previous SRAM scaling barriers.

Key enablers of the SRAM cell include band edge high-K metal gate stacks, transistors with less than 25 nm gate lengths, thin spacers, novel co-implants, advanced activation techniques, extremely thin silicide, and damascene copper contacts.

 
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