This pocket diamond wafer can store up to 25 exabytes

TL; DR: A Japanese team has created the largest diamond storage device ever, capable of holding up to 25 exabytes. Although intended for use as a quantum memory, the 2-inch diamond wafer is notable for being usable even at room temperature. The company that makes it plans to bring it to market next year.

Japanese researchers, alongside a company specializing in industrial jewelry components, have developed a new method of mass-producing 2-inch diamond slices. Dubbed Kenzan Diamonds, these could be used to store up to 25 exabytes of data, or 25 million terabytes or the equivalent of 1 billion Blu-Ray discs.

Unfortunately, these diamond pads aren’t going to replace SSDs in our PCs any time soon, as they act like quantum memory. It uses a defect in the diamond, called the nitrogen vacancy center, to store a quantum bit.

This defect allows researchers to read the specific spin of an electron. It’s remarkable because these diamond qubits can be used even at room temperature, not just in the cryogenic conditions that quantum computers usually require.

Previously, a diamond wafer with the clarity needed for quantum computing applications was limited to just a 4mm square. Attempting to make larger wafers would introduce higher levels of nitrogen impurities, rendering them useless.

Researchers from Saga University teamed up with Adamant Namiki Precision Jewel Co. to solve this problem. Using a process called step growth, they grow the diamonds on a sapphire substrate coated with an iridium film. They claim that this new method makes diamond production cheaper while minimizing nitrogen uptake, keeping it below three parts per billion.

The company plans to release Kenzan Diamond wafers next year and is already working on developing 4-inch wafers.

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