Exactly how small can ferromagnetic storage be?

According to IBM, one bit of memory storage in current mediums requires the work of 1  million atoms.  IBM has just upped the ante and created a storage mechanism capable of recording a single bit of data on 12.

No, that’s not 12 million, just 12.  12 single atoms can now store a single bit of data.

In case you’re keeping track, that means your 300 gigabyte hard drive, if made from this new material, could theoretically turn it into a 30 terabyte drive and occupy the same space.  At 150 times the capacity of solid-state drives, our meager 16-32 gigabyte phones could skyrocket above a terabyte in the same form factor.

This has huge implications on our mobile devices and tech world (and our rapidly dire storage situation) as a whole.  Although a workable solution probably won’t be as small (The atoms need to be at a lower temperature), the fact that IBM has made such progress on controlling things at a subatomic level for our technological benefit makes me a happy camper.  This sort of technology could manifest itself into processors, and put a rest to Moore’s Law for good.

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