The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) just deflated the size of a bit down to a solitary nanometer -- the length of an organic molecule. The international research team managed it by first embedding a magnetized iron atom into a molecule made up of 51 atoms, then taking advantage of so-called memristive and spintronic properties. By applying a current, they flipped the atom's magnetic charge, altering the resistance of the molecule as well -- which they subsequently measured, storing a bit. Compared to a typical magnetic drive which needs 3 million atoms per bit, a device made this way could theoretically store 50 thousand times as much data in the same size -- and would be an all-electric device, to boot. If the research ever pans out, a terabyte magnetic drive could turn into a 50 petabyte solid state unit -- hopefully ready in time for all those 4K home movies you'll need to store one day soon.
Researchers store memory bit on a lone molecule, could pave the way for petabyte SSDs
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.