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Old April 1st, 2006, 08:40 PM   #1
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The ETD Format---a Sneak Preview

It is tentatively called "The Electron-Tunneling Digital" format or "ETD". An old college chum who's deep in the secret areas of video research, is a key figure in its development. He chose me to leak out this bit of information, as I'm the only one he could trust not to reveal his identity or the location of his lab.

It may become the end-all of digital recording formats, as no other could be more accurate or pack more data on as small a space. Simply described, it's largely an adaptation of electron-tunneling microscope technology. Its medium is small cubes of silicon, that contain perfectly straight tracks of molecules, billions of them per square centimeter. Just as an electron microscope does, its recording gun knocks electrons off atoms, ionizing them, but in a digitally-coded pattern, as it runs along a track. Several dozen adjacent molecular tracks receive parts of a video signal, with some used for control and time-coding data. The gun shifts from one track to the next, in 1/5,000th of a second. To read the recording, another gun senses the positive charge in the ionized atoms along the tracks by replacing their missing electrons. The irregularity in the gun's electron beam, whenever one was accepted by a positively-charged atom, is the means for the detection. The pattern of this action is converted back into a video signal. Another gun follows the reader by 1/60th of a second and by using the signal that was just read, re-ionizes the atoms in an identical pattern, preserving the recording for the next reading pass.

It is estimated that every movie and TV show ever made, could be recorded on two cubic inches of the medium, with room to spare for special director's features. An ETD camcorder with a cubic centimeter of silicon, would record everything several generations of your family could shoot in their lifetimes. They are working on a connecting protocol that would translate to and from every known format, with no loss of quality. And, there'd be an end to the contentious debates about incompatible videotape lubricants.

The research group plans to introduce working models using ETD, exactly one year from today. They're trying to pick a color for themselves, but it appears all the best ones are already taken. Don't ask me for any more details-----as I said, I'm sworn to secrecy.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; April 2nd, 2006 at 05:03 AM.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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...then Sony takes out a pen and check-book... the mysterious device is thus locked away into a dark vault in an undisclosed location. Never to be seen or threaten their sales again.... Ahhhh, progresss. : )
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #3
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I hope this is not an April's fool joke ;) But oddly enough, there is something out there promising this sort of thing.

For years we have been promised, short term release of a system that uses a micro array of tunneling heads, like what you talk about (years before that, I thought it was hard drive like heads) on a card that plugged into the card reader ports. I think the name is something like millipede. I think I posted about a 100GB version before (where is that, it would be useful).

The data densities that you quote sound suspect though, even for 3D, which is what seems to be implied here, but tunneling is a surface technology, not 3D as far as I know.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
I hope this is not an April's fool joke ;) But oddly enough, there is something out there promising this sort of thing. -------The data densities that you quote sound suspect though, even for 3D
The best April fool's jokes contain enough elements of truth and familiarity, to catch a lot of people. The real joke is, that some form of ETD actually will be used for recording someday. Regarding recording density, this is an ionization system at the atomic level. How many atoms would there be on a recording track that was .00001 microns wide and how many of those tracks could fit in a cubic centimeter of the medium? Of course, I was stating a roughly-calculated capacity, that was based on a high, theoretical level of efficiency. Undoubtedly in practice, less capacity could be achieved. But if only 25% or even 5% efficiency was possible, the capacity, compared to existing recording formats, would be huge.

I was describing a 3-D system, but there have been advances in electron-beam technology, that permit controled penetration in certain types of material. Undoubtedly, an improved type of medium, that was based on silicon or perhaps another material, would be an essential part of the system. And, there's also the possibility of using neutron-bombardment as a means of actualization, but that would require a long step beyond our current knowledge.

Even if only a 2-D, surface system was developed, the capacity of an atomic recording format would be quite large. Who knows, perhaps ETD could use the coating layer of tape. I'd be personally tickled, if we ended up still using a videotape format for this. Consider this: Some of the most innovative electronic systems and devices have been based on the musings of novelists and cartoonists of previous generations.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
I was describing a 3-D system, but there have been advances in electron-beam technology, that permit controled penetration in certain types of material.
April fools joke aside, ion implantation has been used in the semiconductor manufacturing process since the mid to late 1970's. As is usually the case with technology, the first implanters were somewhat crude and inaccurate with respect to dosing and penetration. When I left the industry last year, our current crop of ion implanters had improved to a uniformity of just under 2% across the entire surface of the wafer. The dosing, or amount of ions implanted per cm2 is determined by beam current. The penetration level that Steven mentioned is controlled by the amount of energy (measured in KeV) that is used. That accuracy has been improved also with the use of off energy filters such that only ions with the exact same acceleration potential reach the target wafer.

So a few years from now this will likely not be a joke at all.

-gb-
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Old April 6th, 2006, 06:21 AM   #6
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Stephen,

I must admit, I was so tired/off color I read bits and pieces. I thought you were saying billions of storage sites per centimetre, not tracks, and the Tunneling Microscope technique, so i quickly surmised that it just was not going to cut it. Apart from that it looked suspicious. Even with billions of tracks, the amount of home video/film, and pro video/film shot out there was just not going to fit. Even a cubic centimeter, I don't know. Plus the accuracy effects of a system that uses penetration through intermediate sites during constant rewrites. I would like to see how they handle that. Being able to dope a chip with Ions, and being able to independently address, and rewrite, them are two different things.

For tape it would be nice, I have come up with a new tape design that has potential to store 100's of Terabytes, even without ETD. With ETD, my goodness, could do a new Tape title called "The Data Life of Earth-historical recordings".
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Old April 6th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #7
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Wayne, that's the advantage of proposing new formats on April 1st-----the parameters are unlimited.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; April 7th, 2006 at 04:37 AM.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #8
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I would pick something that is totally real, but sounds totally unbelievable, myself (New Scientist does this on April as well). That way after people go through all the process of believing it isn't true, they then find out that it is. This sometimes intentionally happens to me in forums around the web already, when I share something some people don't know about. But it would be good to do a big one for an April fools joke.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 04:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
I would pick something that is totally real, but sounds totally unbelievable, myself (New Scientist does this on April as well). That way after people go through all the process of believing it isn't true, they then find out that it is. This sometimes intentionally happens to me in forums around the web already, when I share something some people don't know about. But it would be good to do a big one for an April fools joke.
Another characteristic of a good April fool's joke, is that many people will never know if it's real or not-----and you will never tell them. Over my life, I've run several serial practical jokes on friends. One of them lasted 19 years and I will never spoil things for either myself or these friends by revealing what actually happened. I feel confident that none of them subscribe to this forum.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 05:19 AM   #10
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Heh, so much for secrecy if your posting it. Im not a physicist nor can I spell it, but I can almost detect a hint of b.s. in this. Just my opinion. We probably won't know for a year now will we.

I really hope that RED is for real too. listening to rumors can be such a waste of time, but make you feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, but instead it turns into a want in mourning. Lost wants are such a disappointment. I guess I've experienced too many of these to really believe the hype anymore.

All I can say is, believe what your parents told you and your grandparents too. Don't believe everything you read, and for those who think, if its on the internet is must be true. If its too good to be true it probably is, and don't believe it until you see it. Otherwise, your excitement is just fair game for the jesters in life who are committed to making everyone believe what they have to say and take away the faith we have in each other.

Ok I'm done.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #11
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That is one of the problems, there is always somebody out there willing to try a lie and take it too far, bend it to test it, and ruin life for everybody else under a load of .... Life generally works a lot easier if you can trust people. Nothing wrong with information, correct information.

Thanks

Wayne.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
I would pick something that is totally real, but sounds totally unbelievable, myself (New Scientist does this on April as well). That way after people go through all the process of believing it isn't true, they then find out that it is. This sometimes [un]intentionally happens to me in forums around the web already, when I share something some people don't know about. But it would be good to do a big one for an April fools joke.

That should be "unintentionally". Not like me to miss something like that.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #13
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Just like something out of "Star Trek".
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Old April 9th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
Another characteristic of a good April fool's joke, is that many people will never know if it's real or not-----and you will never tell them. Over my life, I've run several serial practical jokes on friends. One of them lasted 19 years and I will never spoil things for either myself or these friends by revealing what actually happened. I feel confident that none of them subscribe to this forum.
Excuse me is thie DVI-BS board? I think not. A person labled "Trustee" would probably not stoop to such low depths as Stephen McDonald has, OOOoops, he is a "Trustee".

Just goes to show you, can't trust'ee anyone one these days.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:36 PM   #15
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Excuse me is thie DVI-BS board? I think not. A person labled "Trustee" would probably not stoop to such low depths as Stephen McDonald has, OOOoops, he is a "Trustee".

Just goes to show you, can't trust'ee anyone one these days.
Well, I guess that's why April Fool's Day and Area 51 were established, so low-lifes like me could have their fun. I guess this illustrates what I said about some people never being able to know for sure whether such things are true or not. I've read that the ability to get a joke, is a mark of intelligence.
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