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IBM stores bits on arrays of atoms, shrinks magnetic storage to the scientific limit

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
January 14, 2012
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IBM's Almaden Research Center is filled with some of the best and brightest minds in the world, and its researchers just released new findings that detail how just how far IBM has come in the realm of magnetic storage. Andreas Heinrich is leading the team at Big Blue that figured out how to create atomic storage based on the fact that atoms of ferromagnetic material align their spins in one direction -- so the ability to control the spin direction is what's needed to make such minature memory possible. Heinrich and his crew were able to accomplish the trick by supercooling 12 atoms to four degrees kelvin (-452 fahrenheit), and arranging them using an electron microscope in such a away that nonvolatile storage became possible. As this is only a proof of concept, we won't be seeing atomic memory at, say, CES any time soon, but you can dig into the deep science behind the breakthrough at the source link below.

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