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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 16, 2004
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Researchers show theoretical speed limit to computer data storage
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Undated-AP -- Computers one day may be able to store data a-thousand times faster than they can today -- but some researchers are saying that's as fast as they'll get.

Scientists writing in today's edition of Nature say they've discovered an apparent speed limit for how quickly computers can save and retrieve data.

When information is stored on disks, tiny regions that make up each bit of data are magnetized. Rewriting data involves sending an electromagnetic pulse that reverses the spin of selected bits. As that pulse quickens, the time needed to store information gets shorter.

The research published today says if the pulse is too fast, then the magnetic switches happen too quickly, and disrupt the storage of data.

The scientists used a particle accelerator at Stanford University to confirm this.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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