Researchers pave the way to 50-petabyte storage devices
German scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have achieved a new technological feat in the never-ending quest for more and more storage capacity. In a few words they were able to store a single bit of information in a single molecule thus paving the way to storage devices with capacities of 50 petabytes and more.
As a comparison modern storage devices such as hard drives and SSDs need around 3 million atoms to store a single bit.
Simply put the new technology works by embedding a magnetized iron atom into a molecule made up of 51 atoms and then taking advantage of so-called memristive and spintronic properties. By applying a current, the German scientists flipped the atom’s magnetic charge, altering the resistance of the molecule as well – which they subsequently measured, storing a bit.
The technology, as easily imagined, is in an early stage so don’t expect any storage devices based on it any time soon. Maybe we’ll see such devices in the next 10-20 years, but in the end – who knows?