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Hard Disk Pioneer Wins Millennium Prize

British Scientist, Stuart Parkin has been awarded the Millennium Technology Prize.

Stuart's work made it possible for hard disks to radically expand in size. He did this by developing a data-reading head that detects weaker and smaller signals than had previously been possible.

Those behind the award said Parkin had made the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon and other online services possible.

The Technology Academy in Finland said: "Parkin is a leading innovator in the field of spintronics, which relies on the magnetic spin of electrons rather than their charge to store bits and is one of the most successful fields of nanotechnology yet.

"His innovations have led to a huge 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."

In previous years, the prize has been awarded to web inventor Tim-Berners Lee and the Linux operating system kernel developer Linus Torvalds.

Professor Parkin said: "The modern world is sustained by our ability to store all our information in magnetic disk drives essentially in the cloud, so that you can instantaneously carry out Google searches, instantly stream music and movies.

"None of those things would be possible without the immense capacities of magnetic disk drives at the very low cost that is possible today... thanks to this spintronic sensing device."

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