IBM achieves breakthrough in data storage technology, creates world’s smallest storage device

IBM-achieves-breakthrough-in-data-storage-technology,-creates-world's-smallest-storage-device

There has been some pretty neat stuff coming out of the IBM camp as of late. Earlier this week we got a glimpse of the company’s plans to further develop battery technology in electric cars. Now it looks like another research and development division at IBM is hard at work pushing the envelope, and expanding computer storage space on an atomic level.

IBM is calling it Atomic-scale magnetic memory, and it could very well revolutionize the amount of data we are able to store. According to IBM, at its current state, the computer you are working on takes 1 milliont atoms to store 1 bit of data. With IBM’s research efforts into atomic-scale magnetic memory, one bit of data would only require an array of 12 atoms. That’s quite the difference and opens up a world of possibilities.

It all has to do with data density. Being able to increase data density translates directly to how much data can be stored within a given space; in this case we are measuring space in atoms. IBM uses the example of being able to house your entire music and movie collection on a charm-sized pendant around your neck. That’s pretty impressive even by today’s standards when you consider the average size of USB and hard drives — even the smaller ones.

While the technology isn’t entirely new, IBM has been investigating nanotechnology for over two decades now. The fact that the company is turning its attention towards storage capacity isn’t entirely surprising considering there would be a wide demand both among businesses and consumers.

IBM atomic-scale magnetic storage technology

How does it work, though? And how were scientists from IBM’s research team able to accomplish such a task? Well it isn’t as confusing as you might imagine. The team at IBM started by creating a tiny storage device by arranging two rows of six iron atoms on a copper nitride surface, by utilizing antiferromagnetism, which occurs when atoms of an opposing magnetic orientation are positioned near one another, researchers were able to program and store IBM’s motto “Think” on the tiny array. The experiment took place at a temperature of absolute zero, but according to IBM would also be viable at room temperatures, which would bump the up the atom count to 150 — still a far cry from 1 million.

It’s still unclear as to how far off it will be before IBM can successfully offer its technology commercially to consumers, if at all, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. As we delve further into the HD era and the distribution of purely digital content, technology like IBM’s atomic-scale magnetic memory will prove to be quite useful. Besides, how else are we going to store all our favorite Star Trek episodes? 

Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.
Computing

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.