Linked by weildish on Tue 9th Dec 2008 16:49 UTC
Databases In an almost indiscernible and confusing article filled with various scientific terms that most cringe to hear, it was described how in October of 2008 scientists successfully stored and retrieved data on the nucleus of an atom-- and all for two short lived seconds. With this new type of storage, a traditional bit can now be both zero and one at the same time, but in order to understand just how this is possible, translate the article linked above to plain English. Data integrity returns after two seconds at 90% and storage is obviously impermanent, so there are many kinks to work out before atomic storage actually serves a purpose, but give these scientists a couple of decades, and it's theoretical that we'll one day have nuclear drives the size of USB drives today (or MicroSD cards, or why not even specs of dust?) that can hold hundreds of terabytes-- even pentabytes-- of information.
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renox
Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree that 2s data durability isn't a big issue if it may be refreshed, but I noticed that the electron reading was correct only 90% of the time, so you'd need also to build quite a few redundancy mechanism to get better reliability..

Reply Parent Score: 2

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, 90% correct is 100% wrong. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

You should look at how much we rely on DVD's, CD's, and how error-prone all that digital storage is at the low level, and investigate just how it is that we have such reliable long-term digital storage. So, too, hard drives aren't nearly as perfect as you'd like to think: it's not an insurmountable problem to take 10% failure rate and making the end result be 100% (or 99.99999999999%) correct, but it won't be quite as compact as something that doesn't need error detection/correction methods ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I agree that 2s data durability isn't a big issue if it may be refreshed, but I noticed that the electron reading was correct only 90% of the time, so you'd need also to build quite a few redundancy mechanism to get better reliability..


2s data durability is neither here nor there as it's just a test system and the scientists working on the project fully expect to hold the data longer as R&R progresses (a possible data durability of years was a suggested projection).

Also, the 10% fall out was due to impure silicon-29 crystals (the electrons in the non-silicon-29 atoms "wobbling" the elections in the silicon-29 atoms to be a little more precise). Again, as R&R progresses this will be less of an issue.

Reply Parent Score: 2