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Data Storage Science

Graphene Could Make Magnetic Memory 1000x Denser 123

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-digital-sardines-in-the-tin dept.
KentuckyFC writes "The density of magnetic memory depends on the size of the magnetic domains used to store bits. The current state-of-the-art uses cobalt-based grains some 8nm across, each containing about 50,000 atoms. Materials scientists think they can shrink the grains to 15,000 atoms but any smaller than that and the crystal structure of the grains is lost. That's a problem because the cobalt has to be arranged in a hexagonal close packing structure to ensure the stability of its magnetic field. Otherwise the field can spontaneously reverse and the data is lost. Now a group of German physicists say they can trick a pair of cobalt atoms into thinking they are in a hexagonal close packing structure by bonding them to a hexagonal carbon ring such as graphene or benzene. That's handy because the magnetic field associated with cobalt dimers is calculated to be far more stable than the field in a cobalt grain. And graphene and benzene rings are only 0.5 nm across, a size that could allow an increase in memory density of three orders of magnitude."
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Graphene Could Make Magnetic Memory 1000x Denser

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  • by Knave75 (894961) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:25PM (#28520151)
    Sweet, more room for p0rn. I mean, more room to store my philosophical musings about the world we live in...
  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:25PM (#28520159) Homepage
    Diet Smith said, "He who controls magnetism, controls the world!"

    -- I'm just not sure he knew exactly how that would come out to be true!

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386)
      How exactly do you expect DHS to scan your exabyte disks at the border? Better gather all your porn and terrorism-related stuff into one convenient folder for them to find, so as not to inconvenience the dullards.
      And what about those poor MediaDefender buffoons? Scanning a few exabytes for Madonna's pathetic wails could take them years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by peragrin (659227)

        i just rename good files as porn image files.

        That way my data is hid by obscurity. And since it is porn it is freely shared thus backing up my data like a real man. by having the world mirror it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Makes me think of the time I downloaded a very large app disguised as a .wav file - after three hours of downloading, Windows kindly told me it wasn't a valid wav - poof, gone!!
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Mister Whirly (964219)
            Next time try Save As instead of Run and that won't happen. (BTW the file was most likely still in your TEMP folder, just named something unrecognizable. But recovery would have been possible most likely.)
        • by Khyber (864651)

          "by having the world mirror it."

          This fits in nicely with my personal motto:

          The internet is my file system. Bittorrent is my file browser.

        • i just rename good files as porn image files.

          What, you mean you leave them unchanged then?

    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      I hope he's right..

      -- Magneto
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Must have been talking about Magneto.
  • Now a group of German physicists say they can trick a pair of cobalt atoms into thinking they are in a hexagonal close packing structure by bonding them to a hexagonal carbon ring such as graphene or benzene.

    If only I could trick my pr0n collection into thinking (there's so much of it it's become self-aware) it's in a hexagonal close packing structure, I could archive onto 3½" floppies :-)

  • It's already a challenge to fill a 60GB MP3 player with MP3s. I have 9TB of disks on the network at home, and it's less than half full, even with all of our CDs and DVDs ripped onto the server - and of the 9TB, we use 6TB as double backup of the 3TB primary storage.
    What's a person to do when disk capacities increase by another 3 orders of magnitude?
    • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:55PM (#28520581)

      What's a person to do when disk capacities increase by another 3 orders of magnitude?

      Storage requirement is going up, relentlessly:
      VCD = 700Mb
      DVD = 4.7Gb
      Dual-layer Blu-ray = 50Gb (potentially 100Gb; 4 layer @ 25Gb per layer.

      And don't forget that Ch-erman scientists never sleep:-)

      • Netflix has over 100,000 discs. That's a nice round number for having a home library which has nearly everything you might want to watch, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, etc.

        Assuming everything is available on Blu-Ray and no compression is added, this will require 5,000 TB, or 5 PB. Three orders of magnitude is just right.

        If a disc has 3 hours of material, this would give you enough material to play non-stop for 35 years. However, the point is not to watch it all. The point is to have whatever yo

      • by Kjella (173770)

        But your eyes and ears aren't growing exponentially more sensitive. Nothing with more bandwidth than the CD has really caught on, in fact 128kbps MP3S seem to be ok for many and 256kbps AAC enough for almost everyone. Pictures seem to have stabilized in the 5-10MP range for the consumer market - we'd rather have a practical size than huge dSLRs. The only thing really pushing the envelope is HD video, and that too is debatable. Compare a DVD upscale to a well made DVD-size h264 rip from BluRay source - it's

        • That's a bit like stealing a horse everytime you're too lazy to walk instead of stealing a bicycle and keeping it.
    • I think this would mostly be used for archiving purposes (magnetic tape tends to last longer than most other storage mediums), in which case it would be fairly easy to fill up such space.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by walt-sjc (145127)

      You are thinking wrong. Instead of thinking of disk capacities increasing by 3 orders of magnitude, think of disks as shrinking nice and small (1 1/2"), using a lot less power and generating less heat yet being faster and storing twice the data of today's drives. Netbooks with the storage capacity of a large desktop of today.

      • Why would a smaller disk be faster? Data can be read more rapidly from the outside of a conventional hard disk because it moves more rapidly than the inside. So shrinking the disk would give a slower read unless you upped the rpm which would increase power.

        • by MR.Mic (937158)

          You're forgetting that data density also increases, which means a platter would have to rotate much slower to pass the same amount of information under a read head.

          • by walt-sjc (145127)

            Bing bing! You get the prize. The 2.5" SAS drives now common in rack servers are faster than their older 3.5" counterparts for this reason. You also have to remember that a smaller drive has a much shorter distance to seek as the outer track and inner track is much closer together. Tracks being closer together also means less movement track to track. Also means smaller heads, and smaller heads have less mass and are faster to move.

            It will be interesting to see how they design the heads as the density goes u

            • by Plekto (1018050)

              Tracks being closer together also means less movement track to track. Also means smaller heads, and smaller heads have less mass and are faster to move.

              Which I might add also means less power and heat, which is actually the biggest factor in a server room these days. At my work(not a special case by any means), the two massive redundant AC systems for the server room use almost as much power as the entire rest of the company and servers combined. If they were to fail, the entire room would shut down in ab

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      If Tivo upgrades their software (and/or the Tivo tools developers figure out some upgrades), the storage will be useful to be able to record everything in HD and not fill up your drive darn quickly.

    • Well you would use 1/3 less space, you could make the money back on those external drives you been hogging

  • Not again! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:28PM (#28520203) Journal
    Let me guess. They're going to stick this stuff to a platter and spin it past some sort of electromagnet. I want terabyte USB thumb drives, not yet another mechanical storage device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I would worry too much.
      Tape seems to be on the way out because it can't keep up with the density requirements (Data silos anyone?)

      Some places now just mirror to other hard drives.
      -Some are smart and take those HDs off line and treat them like tapes.
      -Some are idiots and leave them online only to find them corrupt like the main disks (I read that somewhere...)

      Anyhow, it seems we are going to mimic Star Trek and just not bother to have backups for computer systems...

      • Re:Not again! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sexconker (1179573) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:44PM (#28520439)

        Tape is still very much "in" if you're talking about long term storage.

        • Indeed, I know of a government institution that just invested in a 7 loader tape library (read room).

          Tapes are not dead, and anyone who ignores their worth ends up paying the price.

        • Clearly you've never tried to recover a tape! Especially problematic when the tape drive dies. How many tape drives do you have in stock?

          Long term - my ass! Reliable - bah! Cheap? no.

          Hard-drives are surprisingly superior.

          • Re:Not again! (Score:5, Informative)

            by afidel (530433) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:18PM (#28522843)
            No problems here, we have two of each generation of tape drive (prod+dr) and when we upgrade we retire them into storage instead of throwing them into the landfill. If our drives were inoperable or we couldn't get them hooked up easily there are companies out there that specialize in retrieval from tape. Beyond that the failure rate for LTO in my experience is vanishingly low, we put over 100 tapes a month through our libraries and I think we've had two failed tapes in the last 3 years and one of those was dropped on its edge so completely understandable. All our tapes go through verification on a different drive than wrote them and we do test restores both at prod and DR. My experience with DLT was almost as good. If you use anything cheaper than DLT then you aren't really using tape meant to be reliable IMHO. The farthest back we have been asked to go was 15 years for documents related to property taxes which can apparently be refiled for up to 20 years in some jurisdiction, no problem recovering the DLT tapes (well, there were filesystem and format problems, but nothing related to the tapes and even those were fairly easily overcome).
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

            Long term - my ass! Reliable - bah! Cheap? no.

            Hard-drives are surprisingly superior.

            Check out the BER on any modern tape and compare it to the BER on any hard disk.
            For example -
            Current model Seagate Barracuda ES drives - 1x10^-15.
            Current model HP LTO drives 1x10^-17.

            That's two orders of magnitude better. Furthermore, consumer grade disks which are significantly cheaper (and thus competitive with tape) tend to be an additional order of magnitude worse.

          • by glwtta (532858)
            Especially problematic when the tape drive dies. How many tape drives do you have in stock?

            The thing is, I can get new tape drives, as many as necessary, in fact. With hard drives, you pretty much get the one shot (or it becomes impractically expensive).
      • by steelfood (895457)

        Anyhow, it seems we are going to mimic Star Trek and just not bother to have backups for computer systems...

        Or just put it up online and somebody somewhere will have a cached version of it within a few days. All you need to do is link to your webserver from your blog.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by camperdave (969942)
        Anyhow, it seems we are going to mimic Star Trek and just not bother to have backups for computer systems...

        The Enterprise keeps backups in a protected archive in the computer core. In Contagion [memory-alpha.org], La Forge restores the corrupted memory caused by an Iconian probe by shutting down the computers, wiping the memory, and restoring systems from the protected archives.
    • Screw that, I want my humans thumbs to be made out of this stuff. Think about the gaming possibilities!
    • by turing_m (1030530)

      I want terabyte USB thumb drives, not yet another mechanical storage device.

      That day may come sooner than I'd thought. It looks like they even have 256Gb thumb drives now, last time I checked the largest was only 32Gb (which is now the sweet spot in $/GB). I'd still like to have all the data I own on 1 disk with another disk or two as backup. If mechanical gets me there sooner so be it. Currently mechanical is 1/20 of the cost of USB flash, comparing lowest $/GB media. 10Tb HDDs should be here in 2013, acc

      • Wow, yeah I remember loading games onto my Commodore using the "Datassette" [wikipedia.org]cassette tape data drive. And learning to program in Basic.
      • The first computer I owned which used solid state storage was a Psion Series 3. It was released in '93, and I think I got mine in '94. To give you some idea of how far things have come in 15 years:

        This machine had 256KB of RAM. The default storage was a RAM drive, so that 256KB was split between being used as main memory and for long-term storage. Under the keyboard was space for two SSDs, about the same size as Compact Flash (different shape though). I had one filled with a ROM containing a spreadshe

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      I want petabyte hard drives to store and backup all the stuff that's too big to fit on my terabyte USB drives.

    • by Khyber (864651)

      "I want terabyte USB thumb drives, not yet another mechanical storage device."

      Phase Change Memory to the rescue! the same glass substrate used in rewritable optical discs turned into a solid-state solution, with a couple of orders of magnitude more read/write cycles than current flash today.

      2.5" laptop drive holding about 5TB of data and being able to access any of it at above SATA-II speeds isn't even the start of this technology, FYI.

  • by somersault (912633) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:28PM (#28520207) Homepage Journal

    German physicists say they can trick a pair of cobalt atoms into thinking they are in a hexagonal close packing structure by bonding them to a hexagonal carbon ring such as graphene or benzene

    I have a friend who was tricked into thinking he was a hexagonal close packing structure after spending a bit too much time around benzene.

  • Does this mean my walkman will hold 45,000 minutes of music? take that iPod!
  • ....a size that could allow an increase in memory density of three orders of magnitude."

    So that is good, yes?

    • Yes, that's damn good. Three orders of magnitude is very roughly a full decade's worth of progress in the hard drive world. Whoever did the graphene work has really earned their pay.
  • by KingPin27 (1290730) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:33PM (#28520267)
    FTA:

    say they can trick a pair of cobalt atoms into thinking they are in a hexagonal close packing structure by bonding them to a hexagonal carbon ring such as graphene or benzene.

    ...

    the cobalt has to be arranged in a hexagonal close packing structure to ensure the stability of its magnetic field. Otherwise the field can spontaneously reverse and the data is lost.

    So one day the atoms might just realize that they've been tricked and you'll end up with your computer on fire because your benzene chains have all broken and you end up with 2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene

    • So one day the atoms might just realize that they've been tricked and you'll end up with your computer on fire because your benzene chains have all broken and you end up with 2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene

      Meh. That'll only be a problem for the overclockers with liquid nitrogen cooling. The rest of us will just end up with a pile of cobalt and a bunch of hexamethyl chickenwire.

    • Re:More room but---- (Score:5, Informative)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:45PM (#28520443) Journal

      So one day the atoms might just realize that they've been tricked and you'll end up with your computer on fire because your benzene chains have all broken and you end up with 2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene

      Actually, the explosive yield is greater if you omit the methyl group. Trinitrobenzene out-booms trinitrotoluene, but is harder to handle due to its lower stability.

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      the cobalt has to be arranged in a hexagonal close packing structure to ensure the stability of its magnetic field. Otherwise the field can spontaneously reverse and the data is lost.

      So one day the atoms might just realize that they've been tricked and you'll end up with your computer on fire because your benzene chains have all broken and you end up with
      2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene

      Yeah, and not to mention that cobalt atoms can be very nasty [wikipedia.org] if they decide to isotope themselves. Will the EPA to allow them in PCs?

  • by davidwr (791652) on Monday June 29, 2009 @04:50PM (#28520525) Homepage Journal

    I trhed an e"rlx be|a tast.( Uhe res7ltw w%ren/t so pretpyn

  • Well this is all fine and dandy for storage space, but what about performance? Drives are getting bigger all the time, but you're still stuck with spindles that rotate at the same speeds as the ones from last year, or the year before. I can't see anyone wanting to replace their speedy many-spindle database disk farm with a single 320TB disk that still spins at 10Krpm and only delivers ~125 IOPS. Performance is going to suck big time. All the top TPS benchmark results for example are achieved using 100

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As data density increases, so does the rate at which it can be read. Assuming two orders of magnitude increase (100x) and individual bits staying roughly the same shape, the linear density increases by a single order of magnitude. (10x bits per track, 10x tracks). The drive will be able to read at 10x the speed.

      At 3 orders of magnitude, you can expect a read speed improvement of roughly 3000%. (sqrt(1000) ~31.6)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Macka (9388)

        Ok sequential IO is going to improve some as more data will pass under the head compared to todays disks. But Random IO isn't going to feel the same benefit because that's influenced more by Rotational Delay (fixed by spin speed) and the time it takes for the head to shift between tracks: Disk Seek. So your figures are going to be wildly off in real life.

        • First, random IO is mainly dependent on seek time, not rotation speed.

          But we try to not do random IO at disks anyway, currently people are quite good at avoiding it.

          • by afidel (530433)
            Worst case seek time is limited by rotational latency and the speed you can slam the head from the inside of the platter to the outside and get it under control. Luckily with increased density we are able to shrink the platters needed to achieve a given amount of storage thus decreasing the latter metric, the first should be shrinkable with decreased mass but the best I've seen is 20k rpm drives which never really took off. It's a very real limitation in today's enterprise, SSD's largely solve the problem b
          • by rdebath (884132)

            No, you currently avoid it in your applications by defragmenting, in effect paying the price of slow seeks when you're not waiting for the machine. In the worst case you will end up doing defragmentation all the time ...

            For applications that pressure the drives, ie databases, seek times are very, very important. A modern database system will tend to have multiple drives (doubling the number of drives halves the effective seek time ... IF you're lucky) and only uses the start of larger drives (reduces the

          • by Khyber (864651)

            http://www.ovonic.com/PDFs/media_room/ovonyx_ovonic-unified-memory_dec04.pdf [ovonic.com] (PDF WARNING)

            Why worry about random I/O on disk? :)

            • The last time I heard about phase change memory we were at the XX century :) It is very nice to see that the idea didn't die, and somebody finaly discovered a way of manufacturing it that can scale. There is hope that it leaves the vapourware status now.

        • There are two factors affecting seek time. One is the rotational speed. For a 7200RPM disk, the worst-case time (i.e. if you want to read the sector behind the one you've just read) is 0.14ms. You may notice that this is more than an order of magnitude faster than the real seek time you get with a typical mechanical disk. That's because the rotation is the fast bit.

          The slow bit, which contributes most to the seek time, is the time it takes to accelerate the head sideways and then stop it on the corre

    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @06:06PM (#28521375)

      Back when I was in college one of the 'cool' old Comp Sci professors had a tale he liked to share with his classes on the first day. I had him in a couple of classes, so I heard it over and over again. His presentation made it an amusing story if you could get over the fact that he smelt as if he lived in an ashtray.

      It seems that back in the mainframe days, the standard way of increasing storage size on your hard drives was to make a bigger platter. Seems rather simple, right? The storage size grows exponentially with its radius. So adding an inch each time can lead to some fairly nice results, and with some platters topping out at 24 inches, that's some space.

      Except....

      One day, the university ordered the 'latest' hard drive for one of their mainframes. I'm sure it was a behemoth, it probably held around 50 meg. The vendor came by and installed it, and everything seemed fine till a few months later when the drive seemed to start failing, at about 30% capacity, writes stopped working and anything written to seemed to have been corrupted. They were puzzled, but this is why such things service contracts. The vendor came out, replaced the drive, and everyone went on with life.

      Till it happened again, at about the same capacity. Another replacement was made and vendor was quite red-faced and explained that they seemed to have run into a batch of dud drives. All was forgiven and life went on.

      Till, it happened the third time. At this point, it was starting to embarrass everyone: The vendor, the people who ordered the hard drive in the first place, etc. So this time, instead of just allowing the vendor to take the drive back, the dean of the department demanded they diagnose the issue there on the spot.

      Now, this wasn't the age of the sealed drive cases, certainly drives were still kept 'clean' but we weren't to the point yet where a single grain of dust could wipe out megabytes of info (heck, even the 24 inch platters needed to be in arrays of 50+ just dream of hitting 100 meg) so cracking open the drive wasn't that big of a deal.

      So the vendor's tech, hoping to appease a clearly angry customer in the day and age when parts cost tens of thousands of dollars, popped open the drive.

      Want to guess what they found?

      Larger disks do indeed result in more surface area, but they also result in a higher centrifugal force on the edges. An increased force which the vendor apparently hadn't accounted for. Once the disks began to spin up, the glue holding the magnetic dust to the platter gave way, resulting in the platters being stripped clean after a certain radial length from the center. The disks themselves were fine up to that point, the dust was plastered to the case itself and when the platters came up to speed any dust that had fallen back onto them was once again flung up against the case.

      The reason why the disks didn't seem to fail till they reached a certain capacity was simply because they weren't being used in a RAM fashion but were being written to in a sequential manner. The outer portions of the platters were only being hit once the inner portions were written to.

      Perhaps the reason spindle speeds haven't gone up lately could be part of the same issue. Or perhaps I'm simply indulging in a bit of pointless nostalgia as I wait for this report I'm running to finish. Who knows...?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The storage size grows exponentially with its radius.

        At a fixed data density (and a fixed number of platters), storage is proportional to the area of the platter, which is proportional to the square of the radius.

        Storage size grows quadratically with its radius, not exponentially.

        • by mkarcher (136108)

          The storage size grows exponentially with its radius.

          At a fixed data density (and a fixed number of platters), storage is proportional to the area of the platter, which is proportional to the square of the radius. Storage size grows quadratically with its radius, not exponentially.

          2 is an exponent.

          .

          (I know, I know...)

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)

        Perhaps the reason spindle speeds haven't gone up lately could be part of the same issue. Or perhaps I'm simply indulging in a bit of pointless nostalgia as I wait for this report I'm running to finish. Who knows...?

        Close, but not quite. The 'dust' isn't going to fly off, but the disks will expand, throw off track alignment, and risk rubbing against other parts. The platters on a 7200RPM drive use almost the full 3.5", however the platters on a 10K or 15K drive are typically much smaller diameter.

      • by rdebath (884132)

        You're pretty close, except it isn't the magnetic coating that gets flung off nowadays. It's the glass or metal disks themselves that start to ooze toward the edge of the drive.

        Then there's the momentum, if you're holding a running 15k drive and it's bearing seizes it has a very good chance of jumping out of your hand. (I've had that happen with a 7k2 drive, it didn't have much chance of escaping but it was very noticeable) Much more and it'll start damaging equipment around it.

        Both of these are good r

  • Graphene also has great potential for transistors. Graphene has insanely high electron and hole mobility characteristics, making it ideal for these devices. Devices of both types (n and p) have been fabricated in the lab: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene#Integrated_circuits [wikipedia.org]
  • by sdo1 (213835)

    OK, what am I missing here? 0.5nm is 16 times smaller than 8nm. On a 2D platter, that's 256 times more dense, not 1000 times more dense.

    -S

  • Experiment? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feranick (858651) on Monday June 29, 2009 @05:27PM (#28520947)
    Before I can get excited, I need to know when this is proven experimentally. The FTA refers to a calculation. There are lots of possible things that are achieved with a calculation, but translating it in practice is a totally different matter. BTW, I am an experimentalist nanoscientist (working on graphene, actually), part of my daily job is to prove that computational results can be achieved in reality.
  • isnt benzene a carcinogen?

    Benzene [wikipedia.org]
    • isnt benzene a carcinogen?

      Sure, but if it were to somehow leave the device, that would mean there are cells that can no longer function. I can't imagine this could make it in the market if any appreciable amount benzene could be "lost" after manufacturing.

      Though, if my math is correct, you only need about 1 picogram of Benzene for a Gigabyte worth of cells. Not worth considering even if it wasn't locked away inside a silicon and ceramic package...

    • by Jeremi (14640)

      isnt benzene a carcinogen?

      Not to worry -- we will put a big red sticker on the side of the drive that says "DO NOT EAT".

    • by Wingman 5 (551897)

      Sodium [wikipedia.org] is dangerous...
      Clorine [wikipedia.org] is dangerous...
      Holy crap! I am shocked millions are not dead [wikipedia.org]

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Chlorine is pretty toxic too. Better throw away that salt in your cupboard.

  • No thank you, that hard disk is morally defect!
  • 1000x Denser ???
    ... 50,000 atoms ... to 15,000 atoms... 8nm across ... only 0.5nm across... could allow an increase in memory density of three orders of magnitude
    three orders of magnitude? what kind of math is this???
    The only question now is whether this team's calculations hold true in the real world.
    I would like to see that calculation!

    • It is believed that the current method of producing magnetic memory cells will reach a hard limit of ~15,000 cobalt atoms.

      This article is about a totally new method of making memory cells, which only requires two cobalt atoms bonded to a graphene/benzene ring.

    • by abies (607076)

      As you wish. "You are stupid".

      Now when we got it done, let's read the article.

      1) current state-of-the-art [...] 50,000 atoms[...]scientists think they can shrink [..] to 15,000 atoms
      2) group of German physicists [...] pair of cobalt atoms [...] hexagonal carbon ring

      I don't know how many atoms are in second case, but with estimate of 10-50, you will get 3 orders of magnitude from point 1.

      Now, the sizes. 8nm versus 0.5nm (diameter, so I cut in in half)
      4*4*pi is around 50.
      0.25*0.25*pi is around 0.2
      Difference i

  • by Plekto (1018050)

    This may be the breakthrough, though, that allows for the type of density that would be required for a human-analog type AI to be a reality.(currently it would take a small building to approximate a typical human brain)

  • In a smaller space! Hooray!
  • ...boy are those cobalt atoms gonna be pissed off once they realize they've been tricked. I wouldn't want to be someone's data around them when that happens.
  • Hey, isn't Benzene on the RoHS 'nasty stuff' list?
    If so, I'm surprised it's being looked at as a component of a potentially mass-marketed technology.
    • Once you bind 2 Cobalt atoms to a Benzene Ring, it's no longer Benzene. Not sure what the molecule would be called or for that matter, what effect it would have if you were exposed to it.

      Though 8 billion of these molecules - about enough for a gigabyte of data - only utilizes around 1 picogram of benzene rings. Average daily exposure to Benzene is around 5 orders of magnitude larger. And, contrary to what most people seem to think, I'd wager this is going to be attached to silicon and used in actual memory

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