Friday, October 23, 2009

N.C. State engineers create chip with storage out the wazoo

Some cutting-edge stuff coming out of North Carolina State University: researchers there have created a chip the size of a human fingernail that can store... get this... a TERABYTE of data!

In layman's terms that's about 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text.

The engineers made their breakthrough using the process of selective doping, in which an impurity is added to a material whose properties consequently change.

Working at the nanoscale, the engineers added metal nickel to magnesium oxide, a ceramic. The resulting material contained clusters of nickel atoms no bigger than 10 square nanometers -- a pinhead has a diameter of 1 million nanometers. The discovery represents a 90% size reduction compared with today's techniques, and an advancement that could boost computer storage capacity.

Click here for the official press release from Dr. Jagdish "Jay" Narayan and his team at N.C. State., including how the processes they've discovered can also be applied to fuel economy, reduction of heat in semiconductors and engine design.

I'm already giddy about the thought of one of those chips in an iPod...