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1 inch 'cube" equal to 25 CD's

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posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 08:54 AM
A super-dense memory chip that stores data in the form of nanoscale holes in a plastic film has made its public debut at the CeBIT electronics exhibition in Hanover, Germany.

Storing data in the form of holes is not new - CDs use pits in a polycarbonate disc, for instance, and 19th-century looms stored patterns on punched cards. But the "Millipede" technology from IBM's Zurich lab promises very high capacity thanks to its use of holes just 10 nanometres wide. This means that a square chip measuring 2.4 centimetres on a side should be able to store 125 gigabytes, says the company, equivalent to 25 DVDs.

The Millipede chip achieves this by having an array of tens of thousands of silicon cantilevers, explains IBM researcher Evangelos Eleftheriou. Each has a pointed tip that writes data by poking holes - representing a digital 0 or 1 - in the soft polymer below. The cantilever also reads the data when needed, by measuring a change in its electrical resistance when it drops into a hole.

Electromagnetic actuators within the chip package move the polymer film beneath the cantilevers so that each tip can read and write within a 100-micrometre-square area. Data is erased using a heater in each cantilever which melts the polymer locally, smoothing the pits over for re-use.

Partner search
That is the theory, but to make Millipede a commercial reality IBM admits it needs an industrial partner with expertise in the manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

"We have no MEMS product line at IBM. Companies who make accelerometers or microscale actuators will have the kind of production capabilities Millipede needs," says Eleftheriou. The technology's appearance at CeBIT was geared towards finding that partner.

At the show, IBM used a video microscope to demonstrate the micro-cantilevers going about their work on a 10 gigabyte version of a Millipede chip.

If IBM can commercialise the memory chip and get it reading and writing data at speeds of 20 to 30 megabits per second - like today's "flash" memory chips - it hopes the technology could form the heart of future digital cameras, cellphones and USB memory sticks."

Supercomputers may soon fit onto the palm of your hand. Amazing stuff.

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:00 AM
Ah yes the millipede. It's kinda old news but it is noteworthy as it is entering the market very soon. The thing I like about this tech is that it is completely analog based(and thusly consumer less power, theoretically speaking that is)It supposedly closely resembles old punchcard computers of ages past yet at the Micron scale.

[edit on 15-3-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:42 AM
Great Post! Very informative!
I hadn't heard about it before!
This cube how does it plug into the computer ? Do you shove it into some slot or do you hook it up with a cable? If the chip has mechanical components doesn't that decrease its reliability, due to more moving parts?

here is a pic of " THE CUBE "

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:55 AM
I worked with a prof on this as an undergrad... this is just the stuff ready to mass produce... wait til you see holographic 3d data storage in a crystal... you could fit terabytes into a cubic centimeter.

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 10:34 AM

Originally posted by Quest
I worked with a prof on this as an undergrad... this is just the stuff ready to mass produce... wait til you see holographic 3d data storage in a crystal... you could fit terabytes into a cubic centimeter.


Is this what you are talking about...

...The Volume (3 D) Holographic Optical Drive technology plans to push future storage densities of optical mass storage over 40,000 Terabits/ A comparison with magnetic hard drives of today is around at 60 gigabits. Optically assisted drives at 45 gigabits/ and contact recording AFM, STM, SPM or SFM, i.e. atomic force microscope and their derivatives, at about 300 gigabits/

Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology

[edit on 15-3-2005 by mwen]

[edit on 15-3-2005 by mwen]

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 05:39 PM
I can't wait to see light driven computers. Like the ones in the book Congo.

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 06:09 PM
It looks like I can start throwing out those piles of 5 1/4 inch floppies I have collecting dust. And I thought they would last forever, like beta, or 8-track. But on a serious note, this is amazing technology. These are fast changing times we live in.

posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 01:23 PM
Theres a holo drive thats allready been built and is a demo or something. really cool stuff but what happpens when theres no electricity to power the lasers to make the hologram? would my hd erase itself in a power out?

posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 04:56 PM
just so you know...Your title is off, you put 25 cd's, when in your article you have 25 dvd's.....there is a big difference.
cd's hold 700 mb.
normal dvd's hold 4.7 gb.
Dual layered dvd's hold 9.4 gb.
future disks called hd-dvd will hold 25 gb.
future disks called blu-ray will hold 50 gb.

But still, 125 gigs in just an inch is impresssive.

posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 07:34 PM
It is always interesting to hear about new storage technology. It changes so fast.

The chip sounds rather complex, what with cantilevers, pokers, actuators, moving polymer films and heaters.

For me, the beauty of the CD is it's amazing simplicity.

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