With the quality of our media on our computers getting larger (i.e. HD movies, Blu-ray rips, etc), and with the quality of our games going up and eating up more resources, we’re starting to need more and more hard disk space just to back everything up. Sure there are external hard drives that can hold several terabytes, but what if we got to the point where we need to bring about 5-6 external hard drives just for everything? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to have one huge hard drive to store everything? Scientists in Singapore may have found a way to do just that through the use of ordinary table salt.

There are merits to having multiple drives, for example just in case one dies, you won’t lose all your data, but for the sake of convenience, having everything in one drive makes it easier to bring around, especially if you’re the type that travels a lot. Now before you go off and sprinkle liberal amounts of salt onto your hard drive, that’s not actually how it’s done. Through the use of sodium chloride in the manufacturing process and the use of extremely high-resolution e-beam lithography, it would be able to increase the data density of hard drives by about six times, according to the scientists.

They have likened this process to the packing of a suitcase, whereby packing your clothes in a neater and more orderly fashion would allow you to put in more clothes or items, as opposed to just chucking everything in and hoping for the best. This has the potential to increase a 1TB hard drive to a 6TB hard drive without affecting the size at all. Joel Yang, the scientist who was credited for the discovery, has said that he expects the tech industry to start exploring this new option by 2016.

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