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A North Carolina State University professor has developed a computer chip that can store an an entire library’s worth of information.
The chip exploits a new development in the use of nanodots, or nanoscale magnets, and represents a significant advance in computer-memory technology.
“We have created magnetic nanodots that store one bit of information on each nanodot, allowing us to store over one billion pages of information in a chip that is one square inch,” says Dr Jay Narayan, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State.
The breakthrough is that the nanodots are made of single, defect-free crystals, creating magnetic sensors that are integrated directly into a silicon electronic chip.
These nanodots, which can be made uniformly as small as six nanometers in diameter, are all precisely oriented in the same way – allowing programmers to reliably read and write data to the chips.
The chips themselves can be manufactured cost-effectively, but the next step is to develop magnetic packaging that will enable users to take advantage of the chips – using something, such as laser technology, that can effectively interact with the nanodots.