Can a hard drive be smaller than a bac­terium?

iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds -

By far! While bac­te­ria may be on the or­der of 700 mi­crons, the small­est data-stor­age de­vice in the world is mea­sured in an even smaller unit: the nanome­ter, which is one-bil­lionth of a me­ter. The tini­est me­mory-stor­age struc­ture is 16 nanome­ters long and 4 nanome­ters high— it is 12 iron atoms ar­ranged to­gether. Elec­tric cur­rent en­ables the com­po­nents to switch back and forth be­tween two states— each atom is 1 bit, the small­est stor­age unit in com­puter sci­ence. Us­ing this prin­ci­ple, re­searchers man­aged to squeeze 8 bits, or 1 byte, into 96 atoms. Thus about 7.5 ter­abytes could fi t on a square cen­time­ter— room for more than 2 mil­lion MP3S.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.