Friday, September 09, 2005



In a report from
Imperial College, picked up by the Digital Media Wire, researchers from Imperial College London, Durham University and the University of Sheffield have used nanotechnology to create a 3D volume in which information can be stored. A storage vehicle like the surface of a disk is two dimentsional. By extending memory through a whole volume, you get the equivalent of many surfaces.

"The technology is based on the discovery by Professor Cowburn and colleagues that by using nanotechnology it is possible to reproduce the key functions of semiconductor electronics in microchips using only the 'spin' of electrons, which is responsible for magnetism, rather than the more conventional 'charge' that traditional microchips use."

"This has allowed them to construct a completely new architecture for electronics in three dimensions rather than the two dimensional flat structure of conventional microchips, an approach Professor Cowburn compares to using cupboards instead of table tops for storing goods."

They estimate it will take only a few years to bring this technology to market. However, of course, the actual time it takes depends on many factors beside technology, including (for example) the difficulty of manufacturing the technology cost effectively, and the time it takes to obtain marketing and licensing agreements.

They are concentrating on applications that can be used in phones to vastly extend their memory. This might, for example, enable phones to extend their video capture capabilities.

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