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University develops 1TB memory chip technology

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Wed October 21, 2009

Researchers increase chip capacity 50-fold

Engineers at the North Carolina State University claim to have developed a chip smaller than a human fingernail that can store 50 times more data than current DRAM memory chips of similar size, Wired reported on Tuesday. The prototype can theoretically hold 1TB, says Jagdish Narayan, a professor of materials science and engineering at the school. This was achieved by selectively doping the material, or adding impurities to change its data storage capacity. In this case, the researchers added nickel to magnesium oxide, mixing the metal and ceramic.

The new alloy has nickel atoms less than 10 square nanometers. The biggest challenge in the project, which was being developed for more than five years, is aligning the nano dots precisely. Each nano dot has to be properly oriented so it's consistent with all others and can be read in the same way. By using pulsed layers, researchers were able to achieve more control over the process.

Narayan believes the prototype could be made into commercial products in one or two years, with prices not significantly higher than current memory chips when they do reach production. The main issue now is to find a large-scale manufacturer of the new technology.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dmwalsh568

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Atoms are a fixed size!

    Come on, I don't expect rocket scientists here, but this sentence just drives me wacky:

    "The new alloy has nickel atoms less than 10 square nanometers."

    Atoms are a fixed size based on their atomic number. Maybe they meant to say less than 10 nickel atoms per square nanometer?

  1. macvette

    Joined: Dec 1969


    From the original article at "Wired"

    "The researchers added nickel, a metal, to magnesium oxide, a ceramic. The result has clusters of nickel atoms no bigger than 10 square nanometers that can store data."

    This makes more sense than what the electronista article says.

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