New Memory Material May Hold Data for One Billion Years

Technology.am (May 20, 2009) — Scientists report that a memory device is capable of storing data for more than one billion years.

memory-materialThe 10 to 100 gigabits of data per square inch on today’s memory cards has an estimated life expectancy of only 10 to 30 years. Packing more digital data onto these memory cards makes it less life expectancy. The denser you pack, the quicker it spoils.

Now scientists have an idea to rectify this situation with a new computer memory device that can store thousands of times more data than conventional silicon chips with an estimated lifetime of more than one billion years.

Alex Zettl and colleagues said that some of today’s highest-density experimental storage media can retain ultra-dense data for only a fraction of a second.

Scientists describe about an experimental memory device consisting of an iron nanoparticle (1/50,000 the width of a human hair) enclosed in a hollow carbon nanotube. In the presence of electricity, the nanoparticle can be shuttled back and forth with great precision. It creates a programmable memory system that, like a silicon chip, can record digital information and play it back using conventional computer hardware.

Theoretically, the researchers showed that the device had a storage capacity as high as 1 terabyte per square inch (a trillion bits of information) and temperature-stability in excess of one billion years.

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