by Elana Varon

A Nobel Prize for Hard Drive Technology

Oct 10, 20071 min
Enterprise Applications

Two scientists, Albert Fert, of France, and Peter Grunberg, of Germany, who pioneered the technology that enabled high-density storage—and subsequently, the MP3 player you have in your pocket—were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics yesterday.

Like a lot of scientific discoveries, someone had to recognize its commercial potential and figure out a way to capitalize on it. IBM set the value chain in motion by figuring out how to mass produce hard drives using the technology. It’s changing the music industry, and it’s fair to say we haven’t seen the end of its impact on how we store, use and carry around data.

Given that the Nobel is given for achievements that have a major impact on the world, it’s also fair to say that this technology, called giant magentoresistance, would not have been so recognized if others had not understood its potential and invested in making it commercially viable.

What’s on the bleeding edge today? Have you thought about how, and when, you can exploit it?