CWmike writes: Engineers from North Carolina State University have created a new fingernail-size chip that can hold 1 trillion bytes (a terabyte) of data. They said their nanostructured Ni-MgO system can store up to 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, "far exceeding the storage capacities of today's computer memory systems." Using the process of selective doping, in which an impurity is added to a material whose properties consequently change, the engineers worked at nanoscale and added metal nickel to magnesium oxide, a ceramic. The resulting material contained clusters of nickel atoms no bigger than 10 square nanometers — a pinhead has a diameter of 1 million nanometers. The discovery represents a 90% size reduction compared with today's techniques, and an advancement that could boost computer storage capacity."Instead of making a chip that stores 20 gigabytes, you have one that can handle one terabyte, or 50 times more data," said the team's leader, Jagdish "Jay" Narayan, director of the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at the university.The process also shows promise for boosting vehicles' fuel economy and reducing heat produced by semiconductors, a potentially important development for more efficient energy production.