Terrifying news, kids: we're growing seriously close to maxing out the density limits of present magnetic memory technology as it becomes increasingly difficult to shrink the necessary grains used in the process. Thankfully, there's a team of German scientists devoted to doing more than standing around and watching the inevitable happen. Cobalt, the element responsible for keeping your precious data intact, typically requires a 50,000 atom fleet for each grain, but boffins from Dresden have found a way to shrink that to a measly flotilla of 50. Without trampling you with technological details, attaching carbon rings to the cobalt reproduces the requisite hexagonal close packed structure, which leads to reduced space requirements. Should this technique prove viable, we can expect yet another race among hard drive makers as they strive to make each other's most capacious drives look downright diminutive. Hit the read link for all the grisly details.

[Via Graphene-Info]

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Carbon ring storage promises 1,000 times higher memory density