25 Apr '16, 2pm

Atomic memory bids to store US Library of Congress in a speck of dust

Atomic memory bids to store US Library of Congress in a speck of dust

Researchers have been trying for years to develop data storage using single atoms as bits – the 1s and 0s that form the basic units of information in a computer. Eight bits make up one byte, which can represent a single letter or number. Today’s hard disc drives use billions of atoms to represent a few bytes, and the average hard disc holds a trillion bytes. In 2012, a team at IBM developed a 12-atom bit, with 96 atoms representing one byte. But Sander Otte at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and his colleagues, including some who worked with the IBM team, have now built a vast number of one-atom bits. Their memory holds 8128 bits, or a kilobyte, and measures just 96 nanometres by 126 nanometres. The memory is made of chlorine atoms on a copper surface that is dented with pits, called vacancies. A scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) picks up individua...

Full article: http://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/research-news/atomi...

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