IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 10 -- New Applications
Original Publication Date: 1978-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
Prof. D. A. Michalopoulos: AUTHOR [+3]
New Applications * IBM's very small bubbles offer even greater storage density * About magnetic bubbles
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Prof. D. A. Michalopoulos
California State Universitv. Fullerton edited by
Prof. D. A. Michalopoulos California State Universitv. Fullerton
IBM's very small bubbles offer even greater storage density
Using existing materials, techniques, and technology, IBM scientists hare experimentally made magnetic bubbles eight times smaHer than those in garnets now available commercially for data storage.
Edward A. Giess and Robert J. Kobliska, of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, began a comprehensive study of garnet materials in 1976, to determine more fully the limits to which present-day bubble fabrication techniques might be taken.
The new study has revealed that certain combinations of garnet materials and processing procedures result in the forming of very small bubbles. The results of their investigation were announced recently in a scientific paper presented in Florence, Italy, at the International Magnetics Conference, sponsored by the Associazione Elettrotecnica Italiana, Societa Italiana di Fisica, and the IEEE Magnetics Society.
The IBM experiments demonstrated that stable magnetic bubbles as small as four-tenths of a micron in diameter can be formed, compared with the three- to Svemicron bubbles used in devices today. A micron is 1/25,000 of an inch.
This eight-fold decrease in bubble size provides the potential for a dramatic increase in the amount of information that can be packed into a bubble device in a given area. Today, a square- inch garnet with three-micron wide bubbles can hold three million bits of information, whereas in the near future a square inch of garnet material utilizing the 0.4-micron wide bubbles reported in this study may be able to hold 100 million bits of information.
Giess and Kobliska focused their attention on measuring the physical and chemical properties of garnets, and examining the formation of magnetic bubbles in magnetic fields representative of those needed for bubble devices.
Although their work did not include the making of actual computer components, Giess believes the study furnishes important basic data needed for the design of devices using bubbles smaller than a micron. "This is really a framework for submicron bubble garnet chemistry," he says. "I'm sure the device engineers will find our work useful. The more bubbles you can put on a chip, the lower the cost per bit on that chip, and that's what you want. "
Giess and Kobliska investigated the 12 possible combinations that result from working with two film types, three substrates, and...