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Storage about to get smaller, and IBM answers the eternal question.

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.