Dear Commons Community,
The NY Times has an article on the latest development of the use of nanotechnology to store digital data. Researchers at I.B.M. have stored and retrieved digital 1s and 0s from an array of just 12 atoms, pushing the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information to the edge of what is possible. The findings were reported Thursday in the journal Science (need a subscription), could lead to a new class of nanomaterials as the basis for a generation of memory chips and disk drives that will not only have far greater capabilities than the current silicon-based computers but will consume significantly less power. Until now, the most advanced magnetic storage systems have needed about one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0. The experiment is pushing digital technology to the realm of Q-Bits – the basic unit of an experimental approach to computing that might one day exceed the capabilities of today’s most powerful supercomputers.
This is heady stuff and portends a digital future that is far different than what we have today!