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Researchers store memory bit on a lone molecule, could pave the way for petabyte SSDs

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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.

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