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Paper Named Best at
FAST Conference

March 31, 2003

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A paper by HP Labs researchers that discusses a new storage technology based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has been selected as "best paper" at the 2nd USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '03).

Using MEMS-based storage in disk arrays was written by Mustafa Uysal, Arif Merchant, both of the Storage Systems Department, and Guillermo A. Alvarez, formerly of HP Labs, now at IBM Almaden Research Center.

In the paper, the researchers argue that MEMS storage -- chips containing thousands of small, mechanical probe tips that access data on flat rectangles of storage media -- will offer a new set of performance and cost characteristics that bridge the gap between disk drives and caches.

After a careful evaluation, they show that replacing disks with MEMS-based storage can improve the array performance dramatically, with a cost-performance ratio several times better than convention arrays -- even if MEMS storage costs ten times as much as disk.

Held March 31-April 2 in San Francisco, FAST '03 brings together storage systems researchers and practitioners to explore new directions in the design, implementation, evaluation, and uses of storage systems.

John Wilkes, an HP Fellow and researcher at HP Labs, is a FAST '03 keynote speaker. Four of the 18 papers selected for the conference were written by researchers at HP Labs.

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