As hard drive capacity approaches the limit of current technologies, there's a need for new methods of data storage, and a team at Singapore's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering has discovered a new way to use table salt to help increase storage density. While current hard drives store data on randomly distributed magnetic grains, the researchers are using a bit-patterned approach, which organizes the grains into "magnetic islands." They were able store one bit of data in each 10nm grain by adding sodium chloride to a developer solution used in an existing lithography process, and could potentially achieve six times the recording density of current drives, or 3.3 TB/in². Unlike Fujitsu's HAMR technology, the technology can be implemented without expensive equipment upgrades, suggesting that it could be used in commercial drives in the not too distant future — although we have yet to hear of any manufacturers who are board.