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A billion years of storage. A terabyte per square inch.

OcculusOcculus Registered User
New Memory Material May Hold Data For One Billion Years

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Scientists are reporting an advance toward a memory device capable of storing data for more than one billion years. (Credit: The American Chemical Society)

ScienceDaily (May 26, 2009) — Packing more digital images, music, and other data onto silicon chips in USB drives and smart phones is like squeezing more strawberries into the same size supermarket carton. The denser you pack, the quicker it spoils. The 10 to 100 gigabits of data per square inch on today's memory cards has an estimated life expectancy of only 10 to 30 years. And the electronics industry needs much greater data densities for tomorrow's iPods, smart phones, and other devices.

Scientists are reporting an advance toward remedying this situation with a new computer memory device that can store thousands of times more data than conventional silicon chips with an estimated lifetime of more than one billion years. Their discovery is scheduled for publication in the June 10 issue of the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters, a monthly journal.

More here.

This is an astonishing advance.

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Occulus on

Posts

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    hot :O

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
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  • Recoil42Recoil42 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    Recoil42 on
  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Recoil42 wrote: »
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    This, so fucking hard. I mean, if it turns out to be real then that's fucking awesome, but that's a pretty big goddamn pill to swallow. Where do they come up with the figure one billion years? That's probably longer than the human race will exist, are they sure they know what they're talking about or are they pulling numbers out of their asses?

    Darmak on
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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Well if this is feasible I can see it going for the low low price of in excess of a million dollars per megabyte.

    Robman on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The only direct application for this sort of thing strikes me as being for time capsules, left long after we, as humans, were gone.

    Say, about 999 million years after we were gone. Optimistically. We'll see how it goes....or won't we?

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    The billion years of storage is just marketing. A couple hundred or so is more than enough. Basically makes long term memory storage a breeze.

    Obs on
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  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    .....and play it back using conventional computer hardware.


    Good thing we have the BILLION year old computer hardware and power source to read the memory!

    How's 8 track tapes doing? Casettes?

    Making electronic storage last for a gajillion years is not useful.
    I am much more interested in the continuing transition of data from one format to another as this would keep up with the times and always be available.

    Aridhol on
  • ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    Aridhol wrote: »
    I am much more interested in the continuing transition of data from one format to another as this would keep up with the times and always be available.

    That problem was solved years ago.

    Obs on
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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Obs wrote: »
    The billion years of storage is just marketing. A couple hundred or so is more than enough. Basically makes long term memory storage a breeze.

    admit it, if it was white and had an apple logo on it, you'd be loving it already

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'm still waiting for quantum computing.

    I want trinary bits.

    Evander on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Quantum computing would take decades to get mainstream, after they develop a stable system. The computer industry is incredbily conservative with genuinely new tech.

    Robman on
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Quantum computing would take decades to get mainstream, after they develop a stable system. The computer industry is incredbily conservative with genuinely new tech.

    That won't keep me from waiting.

    Evander on
  • Gennenalyse RuebenGennenalyse Rueben Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Recoil42 wrote: »
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    You've got a long wait ahead of you, I think.

    Seriously, though, I'm pretty skeptical about whether this would actually work for a billion years but it's not like that's even necessary. A few hundred to a thousand years of storage would be about all one would need, after all it can't be that hard to swap the data to a new one every millennium.

    Gennenalyse Rueben on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You know, there's one problem with their grand scheme: radioactive decay would likely destablize a non-trivial portion of the memory over a few million years, and that's before you're getting to the hundred million mark.

    Robman on
  • OcculusOcculus Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    You know, there's one problem with their grand scheme: radioactive decay would likely destablize a non-trivial portion of the memory over a few million years, and that's before you're getting to the hundred million mark.

    If that were true for carbon and iron, wouldn't that pose problems for the continuation of carbon-based life forms that use iron in hemoglobin?

    Also, the article (for those who were wondering about the billion-years claim) states that the storage could be thermally stable for up to a billion years.

    I think the actual use of this storage advance is closer than most here think. After all, we're already seeing nanoparticles being used in everyday products such as sunscreen. Yes, it's a bit of a jump from that to this; however, nanomaterials are being advanced at an almost breakneck speed.

    I'd give this between five and ten years to become commercially viable. About all that's missing is an economical manufacturing process- and that really isn't far off when you consider things like this, from 2007:
    Assembly of small building blocks such as atoms, molecules and nanoparticles into macroscopic structures—that is, 'bottom up' assembly—is a theme that runs through chemistry, biology and material science. Bacteria, macromolecules and nanoparticles can self-assemble, generating ordered structures with a precision that challenges current lithographic techniques. The assembly of nanoparticles of two different materials into a binary nanoparticle superlattice (BNSL) can provide a general and inexpensive path to a large variety of materials (metamaterials) with precisely controlled chemical composition and tight placement of the components. Maximization of the nanoparticle packing density has been proposed as the driving force for BNSL formation and only a few BNSL structures have been predicted to be thermodynamically stable.

    Carbon nanotubes are already capable of doing some extremely funky things, and as I said, the research is rapidly advancing. I'd put my money on this new form of data storage happening sooner, rather than later.

    Did I say, I just love this stuff? Nanomaterials are going to be very important in the near future, and can already do some amazing things....

    Occulus on
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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    We've also been at the cusp of fusion reactors for the past 50 years, and custom-grown organs for the past 20.

    Robman on
  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Didn't some dude make some new type of flash memory, which extended it's lifetime by using a lot less voltage? What about solid state fans? All this technology gets announced and then nothing ever happens :(

    Satsumomo on
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Satsumomo wrote: »
    Didn't some dude make some new type of flash memory, which extended it's lifetime by using a lot less voltage? What about solid state fans? All this technology gets announced and then nothing ever happens :(

    Thats because too often it doesn't become practical or useful many, many years later. I know they can make plastic substrates for displays to be made on but have we seen it yet? No. I'll even link you the article I read in 1997!!

    https://www.llnl.gov/str/Sigmon.html

    where the hell are my plastic displays?!?! (joking rage aside)

    Yea, I'll believe we can squish a TB into a sq inch when they make working sample for mass production.

    Viscountalpha on
    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    First they're going to need a cheap and reliable way to quickly produce carbon nanotubes which IIRC is still a problem that has yet to be meaningfully solved

    Robman on
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Occulus wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    You know, there's one problem with their grand scheme: radioactive decay would likely destablize a non-trivial portion of the memory over a few million years, and that's before you're getting to the hundred million mark.

    If that were true for carbon and iron, wouldn't that pose problems for the continuation of carbon-based life forms that use iron in hemoglobin?

    No. Living things swap out atoms too much for decay to be a problem. And we don't last that long.

    If you mean the source of them running out- radioactive carbon is constantly being produced by bombardment from cosmic rays. That's why carbon-14 dating works.

    Phoenix-D on
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