With all the fuss about solid-state drives ever since CES 2007 -- centering
on faster boot times and reducing random access times in accessing data stored
on a solid-state memory module -- it is still only a matter of time until the
next big discovery makes SSD technology obsolete.
A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania named Ritesh Agarwal and his
colleagues have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data
for 100,000 years and retrieving data 1000 times faster than current storage
The nanowire technology also consumes less energy and requires less space
than current memory technologies. “This new form of memory has the potential to
revolutionize the way we share information, transfer data and even download
entertainment," said Agarwal.
The technology is based on a self-assembling nanowire of germanium antimony
telluride, which is a phase-changing material that switches between amorphous
and crystalline structures -- the key to read/write memory. Agarwal also claims
in tests the data writing, erasing and retrieval process lasted a mere 50
nanoseconds and consumes only 0.7 mW of electricity per bit.
The technology is said to be scalable to the terabit-level. At this time,
there is no way to know when or if this technology will ever see mass
production and ultimately replace current forms of flash and magnetic storage