IBM expects that its new magnetic recording media with anti-ferromagnetically coupled (AFC) film will quadruple the data density of hard-disk drive products. "A primary limit to data density is the superparamagnetic effect," explains IBM's Currie Munce, a researcher, scientist, and director of advanced technology at IBM's Almaden Research Center. "As we make the magnetic grains on a disk smaller, we reach a limit when these small grains are susceptible to Brownian motion, causing the bits to flip." He points out that IBM's invention essentially makes the media "magnetically thinner." "AFC replaces a conventional single magnetic layer with two magnetic layers that are coupled with antiparallel magnetization," explains Munce. "The magnetic fields from the two magnetic layers that the recording head senses make the overall media thinner." Applications for the patent include server disk drives, desktop computers, and mobile and micro devices. For more information, call (408) 256-5530 or visit www.ibm.com
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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