Storage Chips have a new Competition: Diamond Wafers
Two-inch diamond wafers could store a billion Blu-Ray's worth of data...
Japan continues to be a modern marvel in the universe of technological advancement. Scientists in Japan have developed 5-cm wafers of diamond that can eventually (with more research and tests) be used for quantum memory. What many don't know is that the purity of the diamond allows the wafer to store an amazing amount of data. To be more specific, roughly the same amount as 1 Billion Blu-Ray discs.
For practical quantum computing systems and their memory, Diamond is one of the most promising materials for future use. One known defect in diamonds can be used to store data in the form of qubits. However, too much nitrogen in the crystal may disrupt quantum storage.
Scientists had to create either a large diamond wafer with an excessive amount of nitrogen or create very pure diamond wafers that are tiny but can be used for data storage. Researchers at Saga University and the Adamant Namiki Precision Jewelry Company in Japan have created a method to produce these ultra-high purity diamond wafers that are large enough for use.
The team says the wafers measure 5-cm across and have ridiculous data density. So much that they can theoretically store the equivalent of 1 Billion Blu-Ray discs. To put it into perspective, a single Blu-Ray can store up to 25 GB and the diamond wafer is expected to store 25 Exabytes (EB). The wafers have gotten the name, Kenzan Diamond.
The diamonds have a nitrogen concentration of under three parts per billion making them incredibly pure. The scientists say that these are the largest wafers with that level of purity. Accomplishing this requires a new manufacturing technique. Diamond wafers are made by growing the crystals on a substrate material, and that material is usually a flat surface. Under strain, the diamond can crack, and this eventually degrades the quality. The substrate surface was shaped like steps, which spreads the strain and prevents the cracking of the diamond.
The team hopes to commercialize these diamond wafers in 2023, and in the meantime is already working towards doubling the diameter to 10 cm.
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