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Cyber Speed Limit Determined

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Apr 23, 2004 10:17 AM PDT    Text size: 
CYBERSPACE – Contrary to common belief, the transfer of storage data is not limitless and scientists have recently discovered restrictions on how quickly data can be written onto disks and then retrieved.

According to researchers at Stanford, data on disks is based on sending an electromagnetic pulse that reverses the spin of selected data bits. When that speed is increased, the time needed to store or rewrite information is rapidly reduced.

However, researchers have recently discovered that if the speed pulses are too fast, the electromagnetic pulse becomes erratic and data bits become compromised.

Research supporting this theory was conducted at Stanford University by using a pulse accelerator that traveled at the speed of light to test computer data storage systems. The project also included researchers from Seagate Technologies and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow.

"In order to go beyond this limit, some completely new technology will be required, of which we do not know anything yet," one of the scientists involved in the project stated.

According to researchers, the newly discovered speed limit is still a long way away from the reality of current speeds and limitations will not be felt until the transfer of data is at least 1,000 times faster than it is for present-day data storage devices.

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