|Mass data storage technology for digital electronic systems is evolving and expanding in importance and impact. From its origins primarily in high-end computing and business systems in the 1940s and 50s, it has broadened to encompass a wide range of technologies and applications. Current technologies include solid state non-volatile flash memory based on NAND semiconductor cells, ferroelectric, magneto-resistive random access memory, magnetic recording on rigid disks and tape, and a number of different optical storage technologies. The list of potential emerging additional mass data storage technologies which have already entered, or may enter, the mainstream continues to increase, including solid state phase change (‘Ovonic’) memory, hybrid flash/disk drives, memristor storage, spin-torque MRAM, or other magnetic spin base memories and optical holographic based storage.
This is a unique chapter in that it covers a wide variety of storage technologies, including both well-established and emerging technologies. The chapter is packed with information and contains 143 pages including 13 tables and 94 figures. This TWG has been working together for many years and has 16 participants from academia and industry. The chapter is an excellent tutorial on mass data storage, and also points out the trends and developments that are required to meet the mushrooming growth in data storage capacity.