"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
Researchers at USC and NASA Ames have developed a molecular memory device which they say could offer 40GB of storage per square centimeter - far greater than silicon and much cheaper.
According to a recent paper by Zhou and his group in Applied Physics Letters describing the technology, the density is achieved by the nanoscale (one millionth of a millimeter) size of the building blocks used,
The USC/Ames system is still more compact because each memory cell can hold not just one bit of data but three, by virtue of having 8 separate, stable identifiable electronic states.
The USC/Ames system is already quite stable, holding information up to 600 hours. "We believe further work can increase the stability still further," the scientist said.
Memory on a nanowire: Simulation of memory cells holding 3 bits of data each formed spontaneously on an indium oxide nanowire by a process created at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the NASA Ames Research Center. (Image courtesy University Of Southern California)
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