FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nano-Levers for Data Storage

Could the future of data storage lie in billions of tiny levers, each only a few microns long? A Dutch technology company thinks it might.

Cavendish Kinetics is exploring the use of "nanomech" memory, which stores data in an array of electro-mechanical switches. Toggling these switches up or down represents a 0 or 1 bit setting.

In a sense, it sounds like a throwback to the days when electronic devices were controlled by mechanical relay switches. But Cavendish believes that nanomech memory could operate 1,000 times faster than conventional memory with 100 times less power, and be more resistant to temperature and radiation fluxes. Nanotechnologists believe that nanomech memory would be ideal for small consumer devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players.

Cavendish has developed a nanomech chip with 256 KB of memory, and hopes to have its chips commercially available by next year.

Sources: New Scientist, AiKnowledge