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Terabyte Thumb Drives Using Programmable Metallization Cell (PMC) Tech

Terabyte thumb drives, tiny keychain storage devices with 2 to the 40th power bytes, may be within range of new technology. Even better, the new technique may be one-tenth the cost of current technology as well as one thousand times as energy-efficient as current flash drives. All this according to the developer of PMC, Professor Michael Kozicki, director of ASU's Center for Applied Nanoionics.


(Programmable metallization cell (PMC) developer Michael Kozicki)

The new technology uses nanowires created from copper atoms - no larger than a virus - to record 1 and 0's.

PMC builds an on-demand copper bridge between two electrodes. When the technology writes a binary 1, it creates a nanowire bridge between two electrodes. When no wire is present, that state is stored as a 0...

Kozicki says the process is like condensing a crystal from a solution, except that the process is almost infinitely reversible. If the PMC is fed a positive charge, the copper atoms return to their previous free-floating state, and the nanowires disassemble.

Science fiction fans are as excited about this development as anyone, since it enables devices that were derided as sfnal only a few decades ago.

Consider the Schrön Loop from Hyperion, the excellent 1989 novel by Dan Simmons.

The Schrön loop was tiny, no larger than my thumbnail, and very expensive. It held countless field-bubble memories, each capable of holding near infinite bits of information. Schrön loops could not be accessed by the biological carrier and thus were used for courier purposes. A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres in a Schrön loop.
(Read more about Dan Simmons' Schrön loop)

Via Terabyte Thumb Drives Made Possible by Nanotech Memory.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/28/2007)

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