Mar 09, 2017 01:32 PM EST
IBM Begins Data Storage Inside an Atom; Atomic Hard Drive Components Revealed
IBM successfully stored data inside a single atom, paving way to what the future of data storage can look like. While many companies are looking for ways to store big amounts of data on bigger hardware, IBM took a small step forward by storing one bit of data in one atom. It's the world's very first and in a few years, 35 million songs can be stored on a credit card size device.
This breakthrough from IBM could create a world where phones, computers, and data centers will become smaller, PC World reported. Hard disk drives in the market these days sue 100,000 atoms to store a bit of data and that's a huge chunk that IBM cut. Although it's not exactly the first time that scientists and researchers used atom's location store data, it's the first time that magnetic storage has been accomplished successfully.
IBM managed to cram a data in a single atom; it's a direction that's not yet practical, but data storage is headed that way nevertheless, CNET reported. Atomic-level storage makes it possible for a smartwatch or a ring, or a penny to keep all your personal information or for businesses to store large quantity of information that they couldn't afford to these days. What IBM achieved will also be relevant in the robotics industry because an AI has a voracious need to store large amounts of data to function.
IBM magnetized individual atoms the element called holmium and used north and south poles of magnetism as stand in for 1s and 0s. 1s and 0s are the interpretation of the bits of the pieces of information on Facebook, on Tweets, and whatever digitally stored. The IBM researchers used the needle point of a powerful microscope to pass the electrical current towards the holmium atoms.
Christopher Lutz from IBM Almaden Lab said the purpose of the research was to find out what happens when technology is shrunk to an atomic scale. It's an impressive feat but it will take many years before it can be used in the real world.