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
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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