LSJ Editors' Blog: The future of data storage?

29 April 2006

The future of data storage?

According to New Scientist Tech, researchers have discovered a potential way to store data at a density millions of times greater than what is currently possible. Kurt Kleiner writes here:
Researchers at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia, and Harvard University in Massachusetts, US, discovered that water turns barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanowires into a potential form of computer memory....Jonathan Spanier, a team member from Drexel University, estimates that the wires could theoretically be used to make computer memory drives with a density of 10,000 terabits (1016 bits) of data per cubic centimetre. By contrast, current flash memory drives store about five gigabits (5 x 109) of data per cubic centimetre.
Just how much information is contained in 10,000 terabits? Eric Berger puts it into context:

By way of comparison, the entire text of all volumes in the U.S. Library of Congress comprises about 10 terabits. The Internet -- you know, where you're reading this -- is about 100 terabits....Within the space of about 100 cubic centimeters of this memory you could store every printed word, from Webster's dictionary to Gutenberg's bible. With 1,000 cubic centimeters you could store every word spoken by every human being in Earth's history.


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