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A new manufacturing process for semiconductor polymer thin films allows storage densiest of 1,124 GB/square inch, 15 times as dense as the previous record.  (Source: UC Berkley)
Two critical nanoscale breakthroughs both have the possibility of providing vast performance gains and helping shrink computers

This month saw two critical nanoscale computing breakthroughs, both by U.S. researchers.  One breakthrough involved the production of arguably the smallest transition ever, while another saw the production of one of the most compact storage formats to date.  Together they represent the bold and impressive gains that the hardware industry continues to see as computers conversely shrink and become more functional.

The first breakthrough was accomplished by a team led by Jeremy Levy of the University of Pittsburgh.  The team developed arguably the world's new tiniest transistor.  The transistor consisted of two ceramic nanocrystal plates of lanthanum aluminate and strontium titanate opposite each other.  Naturally insulators, these materials conduct electricity when sandwiched together.  By etching a tiny conducting wire between the two materials, a transistor was formed consisting of a mere handful of atoms.

Professor Levy describes, "The transistor we made is arguably the smallest (transistor) that has ever been produced in a deterministic and reliable fashion. And we did it using an instrument that can be miniaturized down to the size of a wristwatch."

The new atom-sized transistor could allow next generation mobile processors to have as much processing power as current high-end gaming processors, all while maintaining a strict power budget.  The hardware industry's top players are very excited about the new work.  Alexander Bratkovsky, a scientist for Hewlett-Packard Co, explains, "In terms of simplicity, it's striking."

A second key advance was delivered by a team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of California Berkeley.  The team devised an impressive new method for super-dense storage which provides by far the densest stable storage layer to date. 

Previous efforts had looked at using polymeric thin films of semiconductor, as the medium could store very dense concentrations of data.  However, when spread over a surface, these films lost their structure and fell apart.

Using heated sapphire crystals, a team led by Thomas Russell of the University of Massachusetts created a pattern of ridges that gave the polymeric film a guide to latch onto.  States Professor Russell, "We applied a simple concept to solve several problems at once, and it really worked out."

With the technology, he says perfect arrays of semiconductor 15 times as dense as any previously achieved format were possible.  The team achieved a density of 10 terabits per square inch, or approximately 1,164 GB per square inch.  He describes the incredible promises of this, surmising, "With the densities we describe you could store 250 DVDs on a surface the size of a quarter."

Both studies are published in the journal of Science.  The abstract for the transistor study is available here, while the abstract for the high density polymeric storage breakthrough can be found here.



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...
By achintya on 2/23/2009 2:43:42 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
10 terabits per square inch, or approximately 1,164 GB per square inch

10 Terabits (Tb) = 1164 GB?
When did this happen?
Forget the 1164. And to think my IT prof taught me that 1 Byte (B) = 8 bits (b). Damn. I need to relearn my basics now.
</sarcasm>




RE: ...
By icanhascpu on 2/23/2009 3:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
10,000,000,000,000 /8 = 1,250,000,000,000
1,250,000,000,000 bytes /1024 = 1,220,703,125
1,220,703,125 KB /1024 = 1,192,093
1,192,093 MB /1024 = 1164

~1164GB @ 8bits per byte for 10trillion bits.


RE: ...
By Fritzr on 2/24/2009 8:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The team achieved a density of 10 terabits per square inch, or approximately 1,164 GB per square inch.


K(ilo)=2^10, M(ega)=2^20, G(iga)=2^30, T(era)=2^40, B(yte)=2^3, b(it)=2^0
(10*2^40)/2^3 bytes==10*2^37==10*2^7*2^30==1280GB
1280GB is exactly 10Tb or 1.25TB
2.5" multiterabyte drives coming soon to laptops near you :P

1164 is good rough estimate if you think the machine uses decimal storage.

Computer storage is measured in binary increments not decimal. ISO standard uses K^2, M^2, G^2, T^2 for the binary metric prefixes and spells out bit & byte. But in context it is usually clear when the industry standard is used instead :P


RE: ...
By Kibbles on 2/23/2009 4:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like he did 10^13 bits.


RE: ...
By JonnyDough on 2/23/09, Rating: 0
Nano-Age
By Shig on 2/23/2009 10:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Nanotech science will soon branch into 10-20 fields. Medicine, materials processing, and computers are going to get rediculous very fast in the coming decades.

Just pray we don't make any replicators =D




RE: Nano-Age
By sweetsauce on 2/23/2009 1:10:45 PM , Rating: 4
Nanobots scare me more. There's a great Outer Limits episode about a scientist that injects himself with his medical nanobots, and the little guys go on a repair spree. Soon he has eyes on the back of his head, gills for underwater breathing. It was a pretty interesting episode.


=D
By RapidSnail on 2/23/2009 10:19:15 AM , Rating: 1
I cannot wait to use these transitions! With such storage densiest, all your info is belong to meeeeeee!




RE: =D
By AnnihilatorX on 2/23/2009 10:32:12 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
all your HD p0rn is belong to meeeeeee!


fixed


sapphire crystals
By Schrag4 on 2/23/2009 5:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
So, do the sapphire crystals add cold damage? Or add to max mana? Cold resistance?




RE: sapphire crystals
By cciesquare on 2/23/2009 6:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
No fooo

* Increase speed by 100%
* Decrease energy consumed by 80%
Must be exalted with Scientist
Can equip in a Red or Yellow Socket


It's ok, I can't spell either.
By mindless1 on 2/23/2009 7:09:33 PM , Rating: 3
Densiest Transition




Intel jumps the gun again...
By Denithor on 2/23/2009 8:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
In naming their current-generation low power chips "Atom."

Would have been a perfect name for these...




"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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