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Data storage physics pioneer wins Finland's Millennium Technology Prize

Prof Stuart Parkin has won the 2014 Millennium Technology Prize in recognition of his work that has greatly increased the storage capacity of magnetic disk drives.  

Prof Parkin’s innovations have led to a massive expansion of data acquisition and storage capacities, which in turn have underpinned the evolution of large data centres and cloud services, social networks, music and film distribution online.  

Watford-born Prof Parkin joins World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee and ethical stem cell pioneer Dr. Shinya Yamanaka as the recipient of the €1m biennial prize.

Source: TAF

Prof Parkin’s discoveries rely on magneto-resistive thin-film structures and the development of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) spin-valve read head. Following the discovery of GMR in 1988, Parkin rapidly transformed this scientific observation into a practical data storage technology

Awarded by the Technology Academy of Finland, the prize is awarded for technological innovations that significantly improve the quality of people’s lives.

Prof Parkin is an IBM Fellow, consulting professor at Stanford University, visiting professor at four other universities, director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg.

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