IBM counts atoms – the answer is 12


What: “Researchers have successfully stored a single data bit in only 12 atoms.  Currently it takes about a million atoms to store a bit on a modern hard-disk, the researchers from IBM say.”

Why: “According to the researchers, the technique opens up the possibility of producing much denser forms of magnetic computer memory than today’s hard disk drives and solid state memory chips.”

How: “The groups of atoms, which were kept at very low temperatures, were arranged using a scanning tunnelling microscope. Researchers were subsequently able to form a byte made of eight of the 12-atom bits.”

Full article on BBC News.

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