Our computers have become the vaults for much of our most important information. From key documents to cherished photos and video, we rely heavily on computer hard disk storage and memory, and those capabilities are made possible by small rare earth magnets.
Computer hard drives store data on internal disks that spin at very high speeds, and the data is accessed by mechanisms that can read from and write on these disks. These high-tech mechanics are enabled by rare earths. The spindle motor that rotates the disks requires neodymium magnets, which have the power to enable the high speed rotation yet take up relatively little space. The mechanism that reads and writes the data on the disks also requires rare earth magnets to move smoothly and quickly into position to access the disks.
Without the size and strength of neodymium magnets, these key components for data storage would be forced to use traditional ferrite magnets that would need to be significantly larger to achieve the same amount of power. The result would be computers and data storage products that are bigger, heavier and less capable than the products that consumers have come to expect.