The ever-increasing demand for information and data storage will be the focus of a new center for training researchers and seeking to develop innovative laser technology to take cloud computing to the next level. The University of Glasgow and Queen’s University of Belfast, along with 12 industry partners, are creating a center to train an initial 50 PhD students in integrative photonics and its applicability to data storage and information processing. Also Read - Facebook for Android will soon get dark mode and coronavirus tracking feature
The Center for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration for Advanced Data Storage will receive funding worth 8.1 million pounds, including 3 million pounds from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The remaining funds will come from the two institutions, industry partners and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland. Also Read - Scientists develop soft contact lens that can zoom with a blink
The center being created to address skill shortage in nanofabrication and photonic integration, will also focus on developing highly-manufacturable photonic integration technologies related to the magnetic storage of digital information. However, development of these technologies will prove relevant to a wide spectrum of end-users from telecommunications to biophotonics, in which optical technology is applied to living organisms and in health care. Also Read - Increasing smartphone usage may be resulting in growing horns on our skull; research suggests
“The biggest growth sector is in what is called ‘cloud’ computing, where data is stored remotely,” Professor John Marsh, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow. “To address the capacity issues, new technology will be required and that is likely to be heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which uses electromagnetic energy to locally heat the disk to ease the process of writing data on to it,” he said.
Therefore, the key challenge for researchers will be to make HAMR deployable as a low-cost manufacturable technology. “In 2010, the ‘cloud’ accounted for 25 percent of storage use and by 2020 it will account for more than 60 percent,” he said.